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Under Lock & Key

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[Theory] [Organizing] [North Carolina]
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Understand Self, Understand the Big Picture

Dear Reader,

Open your eyes, close your ears sometimes, and focus on your surroundings. What I am trying to say is that we have been spending more time listening to what others around us are speaking about than opening our own eyes to the big picture. Crip is not a gang, it is a foundation that represents the understood individuals; "Controlled, Respectful & Intelligent People." I am a leader of the Rolling 60's Crip Foundation. I am standing on my own two feet cause no one else will stand for me but me. I am also a member of the Moorish Science Temple.

We are our own worst enemy but some of us don't realize it until it's too late. We spend a lot of time worrying about the next person when our main concern should be self. A lot of us don't know our own true self, but we think we do. We will never gain the understanding of self, unless we stop oppressing one another. As a leader I ask that we focus more on self than each other.

I know it's hard because of the way we've become adapted to the prison institution. Love, live and let go of the situations between one another and let's give the system a run for its money.

A very big question that raises eye brows is why do those that play that tuff role worry about going home early so much? The answer to that question is, in my opinion, that they are afraid to fight the system but will fight each other. That's because they know that fighting each other makes them look tuff. No. Not at all in my eyes. All that says to me is that we are more ignorant than the system makes us out to be. The system wants us to be at each others' throats. Why do ya'll think that when we stand up for each other they become heated? But when they suit up and call a team to intimidate us a lot of us fold out of fear of being hurt & locked up in segregation. Heck, we are already locked up, what else can they do to us?

Martin Luther King didn't have a weak dream, he had an uplifting dream for us to stand together and fight those who oppress us. Let us rise and fight for what we stand for as human beings.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The principle contradiction in the world today is that between the imperialist nations and the oppressed nations. This is an antagonistic contradiction, that must be resolved by the latter overtaking the power of the former. But before we get there, there are other contradictions that the oppressed face.

In prisons, the principal contradiction is among the people, as this comrade explains. The resolution of this contradiction requires those working for unity overcoming the mindsets of division. Sometimes those mindsets will be found in the oppressor, but currently they are very common among the oppressed. So there is a dialectical process occurring right now as people are starting to step back to see the big picture, to consider why they do what they do. Unity begins with the individual. Transforming oneself into a new revolutionary persyn is always happening simultaneously as we work with others to build unity and promote change on a larger scale.

Humyns are social beings that face large problems in how our society is structured. So focusing on yourself can't address these problems. But for those who are still part of the problem, there is a great need to take a step back and reflect on oneself and how you fit into the greater society. Soon you will realize that there are many roles you can play, and you do not have to remain stuck in the one that has been taught to you.

While we know that MLK's ideology cannot solve antagonistic contradictions within imperialism, his strategies may be very applicable to the needs of the prison movement at this stage in a country that claims to uphold freedom and civil rights.

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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Call for unity against CO violence

When I first came in to the CDC, a guard's job was simple: unlock us in the morning so we can function and lock us up at night. The rest was living simple and every once in a while someone would get stabbed or jumped, but the violence ratio was 10 times lower 25 years ago. But now times have changed. For example, a few weeks ago, a prisoner was being yelled at by 2 corrections officers. As the non-English-speaking prisoner was sitting on the bench, trying to understand what they were saying (they wanted to know his name), without any cause or reason, the 2 COs started spraying him with large canister sprayers of pepper spray, soaking his entire body, and then started beating him with little telescopic-like batons with a lead ball on the tip (very painful). Afterward, he was kicked while he was lying on the ground, and placed in handcuffs and escorted to a vertical coffin-like holding cage. I stood at my cell window and observed this, among many other incidents.

When I was in Salinas Valley, housing unit number 5 (also known as "the dirty nickel"), the COs would yell racial slurs, profanity, and anything disrespectful towards the prisoners over the intercom. When I was there I counted 115 acts of violence against prisoners by COs and on one occasion I observed a CO tell one prisoner to assault another prisoner or he would tear up his cell. The prisoner complied out of fear of reprisal.

I am writing this to educate you and hopefully many others of the mistreatment and abuse of the COs, currently named the "Green Wall" due to the fact that all of the correctional officers wear green uniforms. The main gist of the Green Wall is to keep total control over the prisoners by encouraging them to maintain violence and animosities with each other. The Green Wall will use any and all tactics to maintain that control. Sometimes a prisoner may try to stand up for what is right, but no one will join him or support his cause because the majority of prisoners are in constant fear of getting property (photos of family) torn, damaged or destroyed.

My hopes are for everyone to be on notice. Be vigilant, be aware, and let's stop being entertainment for the Green Wall. Let's start figuring out a way where all the prisoners can come together. The mainline GPs [General Population] are outnumbered by the SNYs 3 to 1 because the GPs are inventing new reasons to attack their fellow brethren and make them run to the SNY (Sensitive Needs Yards). All I'm asking is that all come together and repair and change what the Green Wall has caused. All it takes is that one voice to get it started!

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[Organizing] [Oscar Grant]
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Oscar Grant: organization, line and strategy

Mehserle shoots Oscar Grant
Mehserle shoots Oscar Grant in the back on BART platform

As we marked the anniversary of the uprisings in Oakland that were sparked by the murder of unarmed Oscar Grant while face down on the ground by BART(local transit) police, no justice has been served. An anniversary vigil was held on New Year's 2010, but the crowds and energy had dissipated from a year ago. This may have been a result of weed and video games, but we think it may have been the left wing of white nationalism who did the most to defuse the resistance.

Anniversary Vigil

The vigil was held at the Fruitvale BART station where Oscar Grant was shot on New Year's 2009. Upon my arrival I saw police surveiling the vigil. I also saw news organizations with their cameras video taping. I had a rag covering my face partially to keep from being taped by pigs. The head of security, which was being run by the Nation of Islam (NOI), approached me and gave me a little trouble. Apparently they thought the rag on my face symbolized the acts of rebellion that took place last year in response to the murder and they didn't want a repeat. If they were concerned with the security of protesters and not property they would not facilitate the pigs surveillance efforts.

Later, people met up at the Humanist Hall to continue the vigil for Oscar Grant. The pigs came sure enough, but what was interesting is that the same NOI persyn that approached me was hugging the pig "Negotiators" (which was written in big letters on their jackets) who showed up. This seemed to indicate a higher level of collusion between event "security" and the pigs than we saw last year with CAPE running around trying to keep people from confronting police or any other symbol of wealth and power. How are people supposed to organize safely in a space openly infiltrated by police? The same people who shot Oscar Grant in the back!? If groups like NOI and CAPE don't keep the pigs out then all they are doing is serving to pacify the people, not secure them.

The first speaker spoke what I feel to be a criticism of the people there. A divide and conquer tactic straight out of the government play book saying that people there had different agendas, as if we weren't there to support Oscar Grant and work for change. She criticized others "agendas" while preaching a pacifist line, and insisting that we be led by the Oscar Grant family in the fight for justice. By labeling others lines as "agendas" she tried to delegitimize lines opposed to pacifism, while pretending her agenda didn't exist. History has shown that the oppressor will not loosen their grip without the oppressed rising up in arms. This was the only significant event we know of to mark the anniversary and it was dominated by those who saw no need for fundamental change.

After that, the NOI ministers got up and preached a revolutionary gospel. One NOI minister made the point that its the gangster or thug that needs to be organized for revolution and that they will be the ones to fight and win freedom. On the surface this was the speech that resonated most with the MIM(Prisons) line, but the NOI and their offshoots like the New Black Panther Party have been consistently petty bourgeois in their practice and line since the murder of Malcolm X, despite rhetoric to attract the lumpen to their ranks.

The rcp=u$a got up and talked about communism and atheism bringing a pseudo-anti-religious perspective to the debate. They said something very interesting. They said that we shouldn't criticize the movements but just get in there and lead the movement. This makes no sense. Criticism and self-criticism is at the root of dialectical materialism. Which is why the rcp=u$a continues to fail to be seen as a viable vehicle for revolution.

The latest on the case are that the shooter, Johannes Mehserle, has been charged with murder, but the case has been moved from Oakland to Los Angeles. Mehserle is out on bail with the support of police unions that are backing his defense. So far there has been much to see as the case develops that has exposed the vast injustices of the system, but the battle to convict Mehserle itself is not so strategically important for us. The state has much more invested in the outcome of the case. A conviction would be the first murder conviction against a cop in the united $tates. A failure to convict could prove problematic for them, and the reverberations will likely now be in both Oakland and Los Angeles.

We encourage strategic legal battles as a form of struggle in order to expose the system and create room for the oppressed to live and organize. Simultaneously, we are clear that the injustice system is not fast nor even effective.

Organizational Lessons

What is more important is learning organizing lessons from what happened around the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant. Two detailed papers have been well-distributed on the topic. One is by a group of anonymous anarchist writers, another is by a self-proclaimed "Marxist" group called Advance the Struggle(A/S), that is focused on uniting the "working" class. Comically, the rcp=u$a who got up to condemn analysis and criticism of the movement are outdone here by a group of self-proclaimed anarchists. Let us begin with the anarchist discussion, as we largely addressed their line in our original article on the riots.

The anarchist piece is mostly a story, and probably the most complete documentation of what went on those days in January 2009. Both papers did a thorough critique of the non-profit/reformist coalition turned police that we touched on last year. The Coalition Against Police Execution (CAPE) imposed it's "security" on a large spontaneous movement. While this was an inappropriate role for them to assume, it should be noted that CAPE's organization gave it an advantage over the disorganized angry crowd. And while the anarchists recognized CAPE members as their friends in social life and A/S sees them as workers duped by non-profits funded by imperialism, they were really representing a clear class position of the petty bourgeoisie. They served to protect businesses and prevent conflicts with the police as a matter of principle not a strategy of struggle.

As the anarchists pointed out, riots (can) work. We can't get free by rioting, and in many cases riots end in more repression and no gains. They are not a strategy to be promoted as the anarchists do. But in this case they put more pressure on the state than hugging pigs, holding vigils and asking for "police oversight." What those nights represented was a budding system of justice outside of the established imperialist order. Meanwhile, the non-profit/reformist movement did much to pressure the existing institutions to prosecute Meserhle and reform the policing system to defuse independent justice. But if we want to stop the killing, what the oppressed need are their own institutions. An institution is something that is consistent that we can rely on. Not something we pray for every day and emerges in an eruption of undisciplined energy once every 5 years.

The anarchist authors are avowed focoists, claiming that "our actions create a contagious fever." But as we said at the time, "nights of Black youth roving the streets among groups of riot cops, being videotaped and snatched to prison cannot continue much longer." And to the anarchists disappointment, it did not. Power must be built and fought for, it is not something we can just reach out and grab. We promote a strategy that depends on deep political understanding among as broad a population as is sympathetic to revolutionary change. Advance the Struggle agrees with this, but their assessment of who is sympathetic is stuck in outdated dogma.

A/S opens their paper, "Justice for Oscar Grant: A Lost Opportunity?" claiming that the "working class people of Oakland... found an inadequate set of organizational tools at their disposal." Who are they talking about? It's not "workers" who are being murdered by pigs, it's oppressed nation youth. The anarchists at times also fall into this dogmatic analysis by talking of "those of us who toil in Oakland." Just because Oscar Grant had a job doesn't mean this is a battle between the workers and the bosses.

The most interesting critique in the A/S piece that we have not seen elsewhere is regarding the so-called "Revolutionary Communist Party - USA" (rcp=u$a). Again the main point of A/S is that there was no vanguard in place to lead the movement for justice for Oscar Grant. Here they address the rcp=u$a's lame attempts to play this role. They correctly criticize the rcp=u$a for setting up the students they organized to fail, which had the effect of diffusing further militant organizing among oppressed nation youth because their leaders were in jail. Their vague, nonexistent, and false political line and failure to correctly organize for revolution plays an integral part in the imperialist plan to keep the people disorganized and divided.

As we mentioned last year, the Panthers were a common topic of discussion as the budding movement faced a leadership void. A/S made some correct analysis about the way the Panther legacy has been transformed into a justification for non-profit/charity type organizing. This is reinforced by founding and leading members who still get a lot of respect in the Bay Area. The anarchists also provide an elementary discussion of the Panthers in their paper.

While both groups of authors turn around and condemn nationalism, this experience demonstrates the need for it. Everyone lamented the lack of the BPP, the Maoist, Black nationalist vanguard of the late 1960's. Today we have the Nation of Islam dominating the role of Black nationalism. Nationalism is relevant because it is the oppressed nations that are targeted by police terrorism and concentration camps. Nation-based organizing is the best path to get us away from the non-profiteering and the dogmatic "worker"ism that has so clearly muddied the waters in this period of struggle. The experiences in Oakland reinforce the Maoist class analysis and the importance for having one. The petty bourgeoisie has dominated the movement for justice for Oscar Grant, while white nationalist revolutionaries vie for influence from the sidelines.

notes:
Justice for Oscar Grant: A Lost Opportunity? by Advance the Struggle. 2009.
Unfinished Acts: January Rebellions. Oakland, California 2009.

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[Organizing] [Censorship] [Campaigns] [California State Prison, Los Angeles County] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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Petition for Proper Handling of Grievances

I have sent MIM(Prisons) a letter of grievance for use by CDCR prisoners. Its purpose is to petition the Director of Corrections to investigate the purposeful failure of the 602 procedure [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation grievance process] within California State Prison - Los Angeles County. This is something somebody put together for the general population here on C-yard. It is our intention to flood the Director's office with these petitions in hopes that it will shed some light onto the illegal acts in which these pigs are willing participants. We are being forced to file these petitions due to the unfortunate fact that the vast majority of our 602s are not being filed or properly heard.

The idea is to distribute this petition to all CDCR facilities and to have as many people sign and mail the petition to the Director's office as possible. Once all parties receive their responses concerning the petition, all responses along with contradictory paperwork should be sent to the Prison Law Office (which is specific to CA), the Office of Internal Affairs, etc. Our goal is to expose CDCR, its administration, and facilities as tools of repression and the lengths that they will go to to cover their crimes.

If correctly done, this action can be one in which quite possibly hundreds or thousands of prisoners will have the opportunity to make their voices heard and their wrongs known. It will be very hard for the Civil Rights Division of the Dept. of Justice and other agencies to ignore us. At worst, if we still fail, then we will at least have further proven that this "justice" system is not for us but against us.

My hope in sending this to MIM(Prisons)'s legal aid clinic is that you will redistribute this petition to those working with MIM and explain the concept to our comrades struggling from within so that we may all work together as one in a concerted effort to expose and hopefully create favorable conditions for the masses concerned in whatever they may be struggling for. I think that what I'm proposing here with the coordinated form of "legal attack" is of course a good use of MIM's legal aid clinic time and it would benefit all prisoners, not just in California.

In order for the rest of the prisoner population held in different prisons to correctly use this petition, they will of course need to change the name of the facility to that of their own. They will also have to look up their own "Departmental Operational Manual" citations in order to be in compliance. Someone will also have to take the lead for everyone in their facility, individual yard, etc.

MIM(Prisons) Adds: We see this campaign as a great use of our resources because our ability to fairly have our grievances handled is directly related to preventing arbitrary repression for people who stand up for their rights or attempt to do something positive. Spreading revolutionary literature, including Under Lock & Key, is a huge part of MIM(Prisons)'s organizing work. We support this petition in light of our anti-censorship work and anti-repression work in general.

We have sent this campaign to our United Struggle from Within and Prison Legal Clinic comrades in California, but this is an issue that should be spread to wherever it is relevant. Prisoners outside of California facing similar problems may be able to re-write the petition using their state's citation and policy numbers. [Ed.- A comrade in Texas has already translated the petition for use in the TDCJ system.] You will also need to research which administrators the petition should be sent to in your state. Write to us if you want to work on this campaign in California or elsewhere!

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[Spanish] [Organizing] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Inspirado por Mao, enfrentando batallas legales

Escrito por un preso en el estado de California

Yo estaba leyendo ULK 10 de nuevo cuando encontré el artículo "El combate liberalismo de Mao muy pertinente en prisiones de PA." Ese artículo fue escrito por un prisionero y se refirió a ULK número 5 del mes de noviembre en el año 2008. Con respeto este artículo puedo decir de toda corazón que compadezco completamente con el autor, porque yo mísmo y unos otros aquí en el Centro Correccional conocido como Richard J. Donovan (RJDCF) en San Diego, California aguantamos el mísmo tipo de chingaderos.

Yo estaba puesto injustamente en la Segregación Administrativa de RJDCF por casi 18 meses por culpa de otro prisionero quien me acusó del intento de extorcionarle la mercancía de la tienda aunque yo no lo hice. Aquí, he visto exactamente como la mayoría de los prisioneros se dan las espaldas para no pelear contra la corrupción desenfrenada y opresión por parte de los puercos porque en el momento no les afecta a ellos. Pero cuando las cosas cambian, y la corrupción les toca, ellos de repente empiezan gritar, y exigen la unidad de todos.

Para mi, las personas que evitan combatir contra la corrupción cuando les conviene son iguales que los puercos. Es muy patético como ellos solo son preocupados con si mismos. Yo al contrario, por los últimos 16 meses he estado peleando uña y diente contra todos los actos corruptos y opresivos de los puercos. Aunque soy lo que se llama SNY (Yarda de Requisitos Delicados) conocido también como Custodia Protectora, peleo por los derechos de todos los prisioneros sin importar sus afiliaciones, sean SNY o activos de la yarda principal. He hecho bastante apelaciones y he presentado unas cuantas demandas en las cortes. Hago esto aunque todo regresa para perturbarme en la manera de retaliación por los puercos en autoridad. Pero para citar una expresión común de la famosa película Gone With the Wind en inglés o Perdido en el viento, "Francamente querida, me importa un comino."

Creo que no hay más que las autoridades puedan hacer para castigarme o hacer mi vida más miserable. ¿Cómo pueden hacerlo? He sido asignado a la segregación administrativa por 18 meses por asuntos no sancionados porque se acaba de descubrir que yo realmente no extorcioné nada de nadie, sin embargo me mantienen aquí por 18 meses por "preocupaciones de enemigos." He estado esperando un traslado no adverso por la mayoría de los 18 meses, por 16 meses más o menos. Los puercos que son más corruptos que nunca siguen andando por aquí como si fueran casi invencibles . Me dan porciones escasas de comida, friegan con la comida y el correo, e intentan callarme con mentiras. Constantemente estas autoridades intentan crear odio y hostilidad entre mi y los otros prisioneros. Pero hasta ahorita yo he tenido la ultima risa. Los prisioneros saben que yo les apoyo y peleo por sus derechos. Ellos entonces no les hacen caso a los puercos. Los prisioneros me brindan su apoyo aunque no todos pelean por si mismos. Además he ganado casi todas mis apelaciones, y las cortes están fijandos en estos asuntos. Por eso, yo no me les arrodillaré jamás a estos puercos sadicos masoquistas y sus metodos de opresión. Aunque sea dificil pelear contra estas fuerzas, a mí nada ni nadie me van a detener.

Estos puercos hacen tan buen trabajo en tenernos peleando entre nosotros mismos. Pero aun hay unos de nosotros que sin tener en cuenta su propia estatus custodial, SNY, yarda principal, raza, religión, crimenes, etcétera, quieren dar tanto para tras, sino más, de lo que nos dan.

Como ya he dicho, represento el SNY. Yo veo presos activos de la yarda principal peleandose entre ellos mismos. Estos conflictos ridículos contribuyen a su propia opresión y facilita el trabajo de los puercos. La yarda principal considera a los presos SNY como si todos ellos fueran lo más bajo como abusadores y asesinos de niños/as. Y aun hay más unidad en el lado SNY de la cerca. Nosotros ponemos la politica prisionera tonta a un lado. Para mi, es la cosa madura que hacer. Los presos le hacen favores a los puercos con pelearse entre ellos mismos. Y los que no pelean entre ellos mismos les besan el culo a los puercos para recibir favores como drogas, teléfonos celulares, y otras tonterías. Pero cuando algo sucede, estos mismos presos colaboradores exigen unidad que ellos mismos no demuestran. Antes, yo era igual a ellos pero he cambiado. Hasta ahora les ayudo a esas personas porque esta acción todavía es pelear la batalla buena. Conozco unos cuantos que harían lo mismo pero son muy pocos.

Prisión sería un lugar mejor si la gente parara de oprimirse a si mismos o a los otros, encima de la opresión de los puercos. Tenemos que dejar las tonterías para trás por una vez en nuestras vidas. Dejar al lado el racismo, el odio entre SNY y yarda principal, las actitudes egoístas, la mentalidad de "todo yo." Necesitamos madurarnos ya chingado. Unifiquense y peleen contra la opresión, contra los puercos, peleen por sus derechos verdaderos. Si no lo hacen, no son nada más que esclavos, títeres, putas. No estoy abogando violencia contra los puercos. Prefiero que lo hagan educandose ustedes mismos, apropriadamente, no con las pendejadas que estas autoridades quieren que aprendan. Historia auténtica, politica genuina, realidad cierta, si existe.

Nos enseñaron en las escuelas americanas que el comunismo es un terrible modo de vivir. Cuando las personas que eran comunistas difaman el comunismo es solo porque uno de ellos, normalmente exiliados u otros que fueron castigados, huyeron de la responsabilidad, entonces ellos lo calumnian. Y aun he conocido muchos otros que tienen puras cosas buenas que decir sobre el comunismo. La gente nunca será verdaderamente 100% felices. No todos. Pero la mayoría puede estar bien. Hasta el mismo Mao reconocía sus errores. Si la gente aprende de los errores, estaría estupendo. Demuestra madurez y responsabilidad. Si no, son unos tontos, así de fácil. Nuestros errores son muchos. Rápidamente hemos aceptados un cierto modo de vivir. Fijensen a donde eso nos ha llevado. Nuestra rehabilitación en la prisión es una broma. No estamos rehabilitados, estamos segregados. Y es porque lo hemos permitido cuando lo aceptamos como si fuera la manera genuina. Pero no es así. Despiertense. Fijense entre las líneas. Estamos miserables porque lo hemos permitido.

Unifiquense. Echen la mierda para trás en la basura. Eduquense. Parense en sus propios dos pies y peleen en la batalla verdadera.

MIM(Prisiones) agrega: El movimiento prisionero al fin de los 60s y el comienzo de los 70s fue fuerte gracias a la unidad de acción alrededor de temas que afectaban a todos los presos. Necesitamos implementar ese tipo de estrategia y no solo concentrarnos en el individuo como este camarada reitera. Está en líderes de ir al frente y dirigir en su enfoque pero ha cambiado. Entre más líderes vayan al frente, más gente cambiará y verán unidad en acción como una realidad.

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[Organizing] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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Inspired by Mao, fighting legal battles

I was rereading ULK10 when I came across the article "Mao's Combat Liberalism very relevant in PA prisons". The prisoner was referring to ULK issue #5, November 2008. From the article by the prisoner, I can honestly say I sympathize with him, for myself and a few others here at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF) in San Diego, California have been dealing with a lot of the same type of shit.

Here at RJDCF Administrative Segregation, where I have been for almost 18 months because some other prisoner said I tried to extort him out of commissary items (which I did not do at all), I have seen exactly how a good portion constantly back down from fighting the rampant corruption and oppression by the pigs because at the time it's not affecting them. But once it does, they scream it's unfair and demand unity.

To me, these people are just like the pigs themselves. Out only for their damn self. It's pathetic.

I, for the past 16 months have been fighting tooth and nail against all forms of pig corruption and oppression. Even though I am what is called SNY (Sensitive Needs Yard) a.k.a. Protective Custody, I fight for the rights of all prisoners, be they SNY or mainline actives. I've done quite a few appeals as well as filed a few court claims. I do this even though it comes back to haunt me in the form of retaliation from the pigs in authority. But to quote a famous movie, "frankly my dear, I just don't give a damn."

There's not a whole lot more they can do to punish me or make my life miserable. How could they? I'm in Ad-Seg for 18 months for non-disciplinary issues as it was soon found out that I did not extort anything from anyone, yet they are keeping me here 18 months for "enemy concerns." I've been awaiting a non-adverse transfer for most of the time, about 16 months. The most corrupt pigs keep on going like they're nearly invincible: they issue me short portions of food, tamper with food and mail, and try to shut me up with bullshit. They constantly try to make other prisoners hate me. But I have been the one with the last laugh so far. The prisoners know I fight for them. They ignore the pigs, and show support for me even if they all don't fight on their own. I have won nearly all my appeals, and have the courts looking into these issues. I will not bow down to these sadomasochistic pigs and their oppression. While difficult to fight, they won't hinder me.

These pigs do such a great job of keeping us all at each others' throats. Yet there are some of us, regardless of custody status, SNY, mainline, race, religion, crimes, etc, who just care about giving back, just as much, if not more, than we get.

As I said, I'm SNY. I see active mainline prisoners fighting themselves. This is contributing to their own oppression and making the pig's job even easier. The mainline looks down on SNY prisoners like they are all baby rapers and killers. Yet there's more unity on the SNY side of the fence. We put bullshit prisoner politics behind us. To me, it's the mature thing to do.

The prisoners do pigs favors by fighting each other. And the ones who don't fight each other kiss the pigs' asses to get favors such as dope, cellphones, and other shit. But when something happens, these same collaborating prisoners demand unity that they themselves don't show. I used to be similar, but I've changed. Now I even help those people because this is still fighting the right fight. I know a few who would do the same, but they are very few.

Prison would be a much better place if more people stopped oppressing themselves and each other on top of what the pigs do. We must put the bullshit aside for once in our lives. Leave behind the racism, mainline/SNY hatred, the selfish attitudes, the "it's all me" mentality. We need to all grow the fuck up.

Unite and fight oppression, fight the pigs, fight for your true rights. If you don't, you're only slaves, puppets, whores. I'm not advocating violence against the pigs. I prefer you do it by educating yourselves properly, not with the bullshit these authorities want you to learn. True history, true politics, true reality, they exist.

We were taught in American schools that communism is a terrible way of life. When people bash it who were communist, it's because only a few of them, usually exiles or people who would've been punished, fled from responsibility and put it down. Yet I've met a lot of others who have nothing but good to say about it. People will never truly be 100% happy. Not everyone. Most can be just fine.

Even Mao himself admitted to mistakes. If people learn from them that's great. It shows maturity and responsibility. If not, they are fools, it's that simple.

Our mistakes are many. We've been quick to accept a certain way of life. Look where that's gotten us. Our rehabilitation in prison is a joke. We're not rehabilitated, we're segregated. And we've allowed it by accepting it's the real way. It's not people. Wake up. Look between the lines. We're miserable because we allow it.

Unite. Put bullshit back in the garbage. Educate yourselves. Stand on your own 2 feet and fight the real fight.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The prison movement of the late '60s and early '70s was strong because of the unity in action around issues that affected all prisoners. We need to implement such a strategy, and not just focus on self as this comrade reiterates. It is up to leaders to step forward and lead this effort. This comrade acknowledges that they used to be narrow-minded in their approach but changed. The more leaders who step up, the more people will change and see unity in action as a reality.

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[Organizing] [International Connections] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 13]
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Internationalist Solidarity with Haiti from Behind Bars

U.S. Troops providing aid at Haitian hospital
Jan. 20. 2010 - U.S. aid arrives at a Haitian hospital, ready to save lives.

As we embark on 2010 it seems that a tragic disaster has struck the Afrikan people. A few years ago it was hurricane Katrina and now Haiti. I was just building with the brothers on how in 1804 Haiti won its independence, defeating the French imperialists on January 1st. Twelve days later an earthquake rips trough Haiti at the magnitude of 7.0. Now, I'm not sure who is to blame, but I have my suspicions. You know, since 2006 there's been a tsunami in South Asia, a hurricane in New Orleans, and now an earthquake in Haiti. All are dark skinned nations! Like I said, I have my suspicions, which I'll get into later.

Sisters and Brothers, we need to come together and focus on Our people in Haiti! We, the brothers of a plantation in New York called Clinton [Correctional Facility], have got together and we were so moved by the horrible images on the news, newspapers and radio that we are willing to donate clothes, food and money from our accounts to help our Afrikan Haitian mothers, fathers and children.

As New Afrikans, we understand fully our purpose in life and it's to help our people whether they be in the u$, Cuba, Afrika, Brazil, Jamaica, etc. We understand that the Amerikan Red Cross takes out a percentage from the money donated and we really don't want that type of middle man pilfering from our donations. So we ask if you can have an outside agency that's willing to come to this plantation and others throughout New York to pick up the items of clothing, food and an address that we can write to send our funds and condolences. We are talking with the Superintendent and hopefully by the time you respond we should be ready to go. We really do hope you can help us help those in need.

Bloods and Crips, I ask that we take a minute to understand that we as a people just lost close to 50,000 men, women and children in less than 24 hours! That number unfortunately will rise in this catastrophic event. Please, please, please stop the tribalism and join forces and help our people! At this rate we'll be extinct in no time!

MIM(Prisons) responds: Many more than 50,000 have died and many more will. The situation in Haiti is horrendous and as this writer goes on to point out, this does not happen to europeans or amerikans. He draws parallels to the ethnic cleansing that took place in New Orleans and Southeast Asia following hurricanes and tsunamis. This comrade blames it on man correctly, but does so in a mystical way later in the letter (unprinted). These disasters are man-made because of economics. While climate change may increase extreme weather, earthquakes occur at a level humyns have yet to interfere with.
[see our correction for this article]

It was not long ago that the united $tates went into Haiti and kidnapped President Aristide, who has been in exile ever since. As the Haitian people call for his help in their time of need, 5 digits worth of u.$. troops march into their country, controlling everything and allowing little aid to get through. The history of u.$. "aid" to Haiti is well-documented and clearly not in the interests of the Haitian people.(1)

Real solidarity means supporting the self-determination of Haitians. If you want an organization that claims to send all its money directly to Haiti, you could donate to the Bush/Clinton fund. (It may end up being sent in the form of occupation troops though.) The real standard of where to send aid should be where the Haitian people are building their own institutions. Years ago the united $tates crushed programs that were developing Haitian medical personnel, and now amerikans want to pretend to be their saviors.(2) While we do not endorse any particular funds at this time, we have compiled some information on groups that may be able to get donations into the right hands.

Long Live International Solidarity!

notes:
(1)This article gives some more background: http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/haiti-beware-amerikkkans-bearing-gifts-aid-becomes-pretext-for-u-colonial-occupation/
(2)This article also gives good background and contemporary information: http://www.sfbayview.com/2010/earthquake-in-haiti-under-aristide-haitians-were-prepared-for-disaster/

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Arizona]
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Poison to the revolution

Back in the dayz when Amerikka made their power move on our red brothers (indigenous people) to rob them of their land, one of the many tactics used to conquer these proud peoples was to give them and then sell them "firewater" (alcohol). This disabled many of our red brothers ability to fight for their freedom, thus making it easier for the imperialistic blue coated amerikkkan storm troopers to lead many red families into western concentration camps (reservations).

Now today as I look around me I see many potential revolutionaries and even vanguards for the revolution but they are disabled by a similar poison that disabled our red brothers ability to fight. Whether it be called alcohol, heroin, cocaine, meth, PCP, etc. Poison is poison. For a revolutionary to poison himself is to bring poison to the revolution. Don't get it twisted, you are either a revolutionary or a drug addict. You can't be both.

You can never be a valid asset to the revolution in an altered state of mind. And even if you don't use poison but you sell it to the oppressed people of color for your own profit then you are still not a revolutionary but a death merchant who profits off of the weaknesses and misery of your own peoples. The same law applies here. You are either a drug dealer or a revolutionary. You can't be both.

This strategy to feed us the oppressed nationalities poison is still used today by covert operatives of the united states of amerikkka. Don't believe the hype? The CIA played a key part in introducing crack cocaine to the urban communities of Los Angeles, California. Does the name "Freeway Willie" sound familiar? These meat warehouses called "correctional facilities" are not concerned with how much drugs a prisoner sells or uses, their main concern is that we don't escape, don't commit acts of violence against their plantation keepers and that we don't stack up arms. Their concerns are against the very characteristics which make up a revolutionary.

Revolution starts with our minds. If our minds are altered, there is no revolution. If you are down for the revolution, then poison is not in the equation and can never be. Be clean, strong and sober. Fight to win.

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[Organizing] [Arizona]
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Forsaking all others

Latin Kings vs. Black Gangsters Disciples, Vice Lords vs. Gangster Disciples, Netas vs. Insectos, Crips vs. Bloods, Surenos vs. Nortenos, MS~13 vs Latin Kings, etc. This senseless and endless beef between us who are in rival street organizations does nothing for the revolution. It does nothing to help the oppressed people of the Third World order.

This message I write today is not for the ignorant amongst us but for the true revolutionaries. When it comes to any cause united we stand and divided we fall. This isn't just a cliche. It's as real as it gets.

To be specific, I address this to all the groups within the U.$. that the imperialistic federal troops have labeled "supergangs."

As rivals I realize that there can never be no real truce between enemies (too much blood spilled and riders buried). However this isn't about kissing and making up for I know that bad blood can't turn good. It's also real that this message won't influence those of us who want to continue banging. However for those of us who have metamorphosed into bona fide revolutionaries and want to make a united stand against injustice, let us use all our influence and power to call a cease fire and turn our focus on the real enemy.

"In unity we can bring any evil system to its knees." The divide and conquer tactic of war has been used by opposing forces for centuries. One out of the many of examples used by the Federal Bureau of Instigation (FBI) to divide and conquer stands out in my mind. The one they employed in the 70s when they tried to cause beef between Fred Hampton, a leader of the Black Panther Party in Chi-town and Jeff Forte, the head of the Black Peace Stones in the same town. (Both komrades were strong and had command over mass riders). The Feds attempted this by sending both groups false information about one another. When the plan failed, the pigs simply rushed komrade Fred's apartment and executed komrade Fred and another Panther komrade Mark Clark, and shot at komrade Fred's pregnant fiancee (she lived). Occasionally security employs this tactic within these modern day concentration camps. If we're busy fighting one another it keeps our minds off of the real oppressors.

We need to start moving as one when it comes to the revolution. If you are strong enough to be a revolutionary, this means you're prolific enough to move the masses within your own organization towards the cause of revolution. If you take roll call of the members we have within the largest street organizations within the U.$. we have what? 1/2 a million members? A million? If we ceasefire and move as one towards revolution we will become a force to be reckoned with. With all our different colors and ideologies we can become a united nations of revolution.

The biggest gang in the united $tates is the police. There are 660,000 police officers below federal level - state and local - 659,000 of them to the man has no trust in the FBI and yet when called upon they work together to oppress us. If they can work together in distrust then we can work as one headed in the same direction for the same goal.

When individual people work together for a common purpose there is power available to the group that isn't available to individuals, union is a fundamental basis of power.

Genghis Khan once stated "one tribe is like a single arrow, easily broken. All tribes together we become unbreakable." Even if you are alone within your group when it comes to revolution, you are armed with the knowledge that all it takes is one resolute revolutionary, one disobedient spirit to turn a flock of sheep into a den of lions. You must truthfully ask yourself are you ready if need be to die for the cause? Then you must truthfully answer yourself. This is important because part of the imperialist's false superiority is their unwillingness to die. On our end I'll repeat Andrew Young who said "it's a blessing to die for a cause, because you can so easily die for nothing."

Once we get started they can't kill a cause. Fighting for a cause is everything, simply believing in a cause is not enough.

I read a lot of articles written to MIM by my fellow komrades in chains that basically add up to "po po whupped my ass" or "these CO pawns/administration are dogging us", what I don't read in those same articles is what did you do or are you going to do or are doing about it? Because if an act of action is not in your makeup and character then that's when you voicing your grievance to MIM is a futile whine.

Fidel Castro once said "a revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past." As I strip down daily and look in the mirror I take notice of the many scars handed down to me by correctional goon squads from my numerous battles with them for standing against their tyranny.

I remember the few komrades who stood side by side with me against the OAK clubs, mace, tasers, etc. And went to the hospital with me after they tortured us for fighting them. There was never enough of us. We were always the minority. We still are the chosen few. Thus I reach out to all street organizations under the banner of revolution. This is a call to arms forsaking all others. Let men and women of courage fall in and under this banner.

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[Organizing] [ULK Issue 13]
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Radio Silence

The only strategy left for us revolutionaries to use who are still hemmed up within these U.$. luxury concentration camps is 'silence.' Silence is a weapon. As revolutionaries and freedom fighters we need to master the vocabulary of silence.

A worldwide tactic for naval warfare is 'radio silence' especially amongst submarines. When radio silence is initiated, the entire submarine goes silent. Thus the enemy doesn't know where this submarine is at, what its commander is planning next, etc. What do you suppose would happen if every prisoner incarcerated within every prison in Amerikkka stopped talking and refused to talk all at once and at the same time? The eerie silence would oppress the oppressor's pawns (prison guards), it would surely cause panic amongst their ranks.

Unfortunately, for every true revolutionary reading this letter, you must be already aware that the character of players within the game done change. Most 'inmates' confined within the U.$. prison system these days have diarrhea of the mouth. Their tongues wag constantly. Hell it almost seems that some of these 'inmates' tongues wake up before their bodies do in the morning. U.$. prison yards are the gossip centers of amerikkka.

There's a hustler's story that I will use as an analogy in this situation. There was once two pimps just hanging out watching their ladies of the night work the strip. As a couple of their ladies walked by them joking and laughing out loud, one pimp turned to the other and said to him, "You hear that? That's music to my ears." The other pimp asked him "Why's that?" The pimp answered, "Because as long as them hos are laughing and joking they're blind to what their lives really consist of."

In a prison guard's case, an inmate's laughter, joking and constant talking is music to their ears. As a population this would make inmates the Hos. Now to go and move the masses into radio silence, this is what we're up against: hustlers whose only concern is the dollar; users who's only concern, and god, is the dope; cowards; haters; countless informants; and those infected by the Stockholm syndrome. Those are the cold hard facts.

Yet, one resolute revolutionary, one disobedient spirit can turn a flock of sheep into a den of lions. Thus we can commence this revolution of silence against all odds with the knowledge that when individual peoples work together for a common purpose there's power available to the group that isn't available to individuals. We can vanguard this move of silence with the wisdom that union is a fundamental basis of power.

That the unity of a people could bring any corrupt evil system to its knees. Let us as a revolutionary people go on a talking strike. This will for sure shake up the system. Silence makes people uncomfortable. It is psychological warfare. Psychologists employ this tactic when with their patients, as interrogators do with people they're questioning. How many people would still be free if they had just adhered to their Miranda rights, "You have the right to remain silent"? Even the good book of proverbs says "In the multitude of words is foolishness."

The choice is of course yours komrades. However let it not be said of a true revolutionary that we came through a system or life itself without leaving an imprint. The time of talk and half measures are over, it's time for action. Enough said. Go silent.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade brings up an interesting tactic that has been used before. What makes it superior to some other sorts of strikes is that it is harder for the pigs to charge someone with some kind of rule violation for not talking. Of course, Malcolm X spent weeks in the hole for refusing to say his number when he first got to prison. And ultimately they often have the power to punish at will, regardless of the rules.

However, generic calls such as these have limited application. We print this as a discussion of possible tactics, but we cannot just throw ideas out on the wind and hope they catch on. We can never execute an effective strike without on-the-ground organizing. Only as part of an organization can we impose limits on those who wish to oppress us, as this comrade acknowledges.

One last criticism, this proposal is not very clear of its scope of application. To promote silence as a strategy would be suicidal for our movement, because our biggest battle is to spread information and organization. Now, thinking before we speak is a whole other story. A true revolutionary must speak and act in ways that fit in with h overall strategy for creating change. A childish culture of talking shit is a product of the lack of education and consciousness among the oppressed. So, to promote a code of conduct that involves only saying things that fit within our political goals, and knowing what to say when and to whom can only come after a thorough education of the population. There is much work for those isolated revolutionaries out there to do before attempting any type of strike or mass action.

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