The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [Legal] [Campaigns] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Address Our Grievances! Campaign Spreads

In Under Lock & Key issue 13, we published an article announcing a campaign about the improper handling of grievances by prison staff. Below is an update from the California comrade who originally turned us on to the campaign.

I initially mailed out my own petition to the CDCR Director Level back in Nov./Dec. of '09 as part of the first wave of petitions. This was done under the auspice of its originator. However some time after the first wave went out, the persyn who devised this plan was subsequently taken to the hole. It was rumored that it was exactly because of this persyn's legal maneuvering that he was sent to the hole. Anyway, back in January '10 I received a response. As it turns out, these petitions were never investigated or even looked into as we requested. The Appeals Coordinator at the Director Level simply re-routed my petition back to the Warden's office here at this institution, at which time the warden here implied that the appeals which I had pending were screened back to me because I basically failed to comply with inmate appeal regulations. This is of course total bullshit! The "W." pretty much just issued me a de facto "695 Screen Out Form" without ever really looking into the matter, thereby sweeping the matter back under the rug.

I then decided that someone needed to step up to the plate and pick up where this petition's originator left off. I began by tracking down as many people as I could find who'd participate in the legal action. I tracked down about eighteen people, of which only three others besides myself received responses. As it turned out, we all got the same document with seemingly no other action taken.

I then proceeded to make as many copies of the original petition as I could obtain. I was only able to make 20. Of these 20 I only had twelve more people agree to mail the petitions out. As of today nobody's received any responses.

I contacted the Ca. Prison Law Office, useless. The Ombudsman, useless, no response, and a few other organizations claiming to offer inmates assistance (Critical Resistance? critically useless). I didn't bother with Internal Affairs or the Inspector General as they are both connected to CDCR and seemingly cover their asses. The DOJ is a different story. However, they will only take action if it can be proven that civil rights abuses are taking place en masse. Since only four of us received responses, the DOJ will not take action.

So it hasn't turned out as we hoped [with an investigation into the failed CDCR grievance system]. I suppose it wasn't a total failure, though, as we have proved yet again that the inmate appeals procedure in the Ca. Dept. of Corruption is nothing but an obstacle placed in front of prisoners' path to the U.$. judicial system.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's initiative to pick up a worthwhile project, after state repression stopped the original leader, is commendable. Others who have this kind of initiative should be working with the United Struggle from Within, the MIM(Prisons)-led anti-imperialist prisoner organization. Comrades have been working diligently to expand the scope of the campaign and we now have petitions prepared for CA, MO, OK and TX. If you are filing grievances about any issue and they aren't being handled properly by staff, consider becoming a part of this campaign and spread it to your people inside.

This comrade's analysis of the success of the campaign is completely accurate. We can hope for an investigation into the corrupt grievance system, but if it doesn't happen, then we have instead successfully exposed yet another flaw in the Amerikkkan "justice" system. It is important to not give up even if we feel like nothing will happen because these exposures are agitational points that we can rally people around. Also, like this comrade pointed out, if we send in enough petitions to the DOJ s/he believes that they may respond. So continue to send in your grievance petitions and get with MIM(Prisons) to get involved!

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[Organizing] [Utah]
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Fuck you too Amerika

In just days our comrade Ronnie Garner will be shot to death by trigger happy pigs at the Utah state plantation. Line upon line of trigger happy swine congregate. Just itching to be one of the five to open fire on an unarmed, seated, shackled and waist chain and cuffed human being. Tickets are sold out with standing room only for one of imperialist Amerikkka's favorite shows. A lynching. High def, surround stereo sounds reports of five rifles, four loaded, just what the ignorant chauvinistic piles of racist shit needed to return the old bounce to the abusive, greedy step.

Settler nation. Thieving cowardly nation. As those rifles hollow-pointed slugs tear through an unpremeditated killers beating heart. As five premeditated murderers slay a man who was threatened with such a demise for centuries. As the state treated all his ills for this long, from ulcers to dandruff, and now sees fit to just blow his chest out his back for sport. All you across this doomed Americur$e know this. I scream anti-imperialism with two fingers in the air. Fuck you too Amerika!

As the Mexican border walls get higher and higher to keep starving people off Amerikan streets, Amerikur$e ships/flies ton upon ton of military might and fattened U$ soldiers to Iraqi/Afgani streets. "Hypocritic swine," I scream. You rich fucks in the oval office who smoke "illegal" smuggled Cuban cigars and have sex with children, prostitutes, each other. I scream socialist proletarian justice and have your spots chalked out in my mind for your firing squad$.

As all eyes turn to this Utah lynching of a tied, seated man. Dandruff and cavity free. Let us not forget the masses toothless with lice who sharpen blades in leaky lean-to. Let us never forget the millions who starve to death yearly because the U$ snakes see fit to not feed them as there is no profit in it.

As I approach release from USP after two plus years down in this UINTA One control unit. And bid 'fare-in-martyrdom-well' to a fellow political prisoner of war I scream again. What do I yell you ask? Is it revenge at the cost of my life or a light show on the ten-o-clock news? A blaze of glory?

Fuck no comrades. It's to the library I go and to your piggy drug abuse classes. It's to the parole office I go smiling. Because there isn't a dope pipe or 'pigs-brains-on-concrete' that can get me as high as this anti-imperialist struggle does. I'll play your games and beat you at them you cowardly pigs and then some. No more will I be your puppet to dance and justify these wars on crime/drugs. To justify these killer fascist koncentration Kamps.

You'll lose Amerika. You will. And on that day we'll truly see who gets the firing squad. Might even give your overweight, liposucked fat racist asses a running start too.

Power to the people!

MIM(Prisons) adds: Ronnie Garner is scheduled to be executed by firing squad on June 18, 2010, but his lawyers are working to appeal. We do not know Mr. Garner or the details of his case.

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[Organizing] [New York] [ULK Issue 14]
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Comrades, educate & support each other!

At 19, I've become equally conscious of the circumstances we must face as well as the necessary struggle we must wage in order to remedy these maladies which has infected us as a people mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally and financially. Not to say that I have mastered Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, but I have grasped firmly the concept of socialist-communist revolution to an acceptable degree.

To summarize, the question at hand is basically, "What strategy and tactics can ULK employ to become a better tool at correctly propagandizing the masses, particularly the prison population, organizing us into a revolutionary impetus which can successfully seize its liberation, justice and equality?" Before I voice my opinions let me state, matter of factly, that all recipients of ULK are equally responsible for the progress as well as its shortcomings. For no force is greater than that of the people. Therefore we, the people, are more than obligated to ensure that ULK plays a productive role in our revolution. If we fail to contribute, we are as counter-revolutionary as the reactionary monsters who daily oppress us all.

I think in order to educate and be educated by each other, we must combine theory with practice as well as embrace "criticism and self-criticism." We must refrain from using speech which can be taken offensively for this may cause dissension, and out of emotion some may shun the message we intend to give. This is counter-productive. Instead of just denouncing our "criminal" actions, let us acknowledge the fact that in some form or degree, even if subconsciously, we have resisted this nefarious system and its institutions. Let us acknowledge that, unfortunately, through experience, we've now gained first-hand knowledge of the repressive conditions we live under. We are the lumpen, we are the most exploited. [MIM(Prisons) Editor: The lumpen, by definition, are not an exploited class, though some prisoners and black market laborers face economic exploitation. The lumpen are the excess people, thrown off by capitalism. In the united $tates the lumpen are one of the most oppressed groups.] Now, through political education, we must learn to combine our individual struggles into one struggle of the people and for the people.

We must discuss piece-meal the written works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung, Frantz Fanon and others. We must learn the history of other peoples and study all rebellions, revolts and revolutions in detail, from feudalist society to our present society. This will impress upon us our historical role of resistance, raising our consciousness as we embody the spirit of true revolutionaries. This will also show how we've undergone the transformation from the family-oriented, ethical man to the selfish, barbaric, sub-human savages we've become; competing against, or at extremes, injuring, raping, and murdering our kith and kin for riches and social status which can never satisfy our vegetating, ever ungovernable greed.

We must teach how racism, sexism and religion have each played their part in forming the basis of these exploiting class systems, keeping the masses divided. Also how the media and schools have kept us ignorant, replacing our need for knowledge and truth with fabricated tales of European heroes and Amerikkkan humanitarianism.

Fidel Castro said that the duty of the revolutionary is to make the revolution. We cannot ignore the fact that the only way to overthrow the capitalist-imperialist elite and their government is through armed struggle. Therefore we should still encourage our education in warfares, even though MIM opposes the use of armed struggle at this time. In Mao's Little Red Book (quotations), he states:

"War, this monster of mutual slaughter among men, will be finally eliminated by the progress of human society, and in the not too distant future too. But there is only one way to eliminate it and that is to oppose war with war, to oppose counter-revolutionary war with revolutionary war, to oppose national counter-revolutionary war with national revolutionary war, and to oppose counter-revolutionary class war with revolutionary class war. . . When society advances to the point where classes and states are eliminated, there will be no more wars, counter-revolutionary or revolutionary, unjust or just; that will be the era of perpetual peace for mankind. Our study of the laws of revolutionary war springs from the desire to eliminate all wars; herein lies the distinction between us communists and all the exploiting classes."

We do not want war, we want peace. But to eliminate war we must wage war. "Political power grows out from the barrel of the gun." This is a truth we must accept.

We must encourage a vigorous struggle for prison reform. We must expose the injustices, the curtailed food rations, and all the other foul living conditions of these DOC concentration camps. We must recognize the word "individual" as a metonym for "divided", understanding that never is one person ever alone in any particular struggle. Therefore all grievable issues should be grieved en masse showing that the power of the people is an unyielding power, perceptual no matter how much it is caged and bound. We must advise all prisoners of their constitutional rights, what they mean, and how to fight for them if violated. We must encourage prisoners to form unions or law study groups within their facilities so that we become literate of legal terms and parlance, etc. We must encourage the fight against legal misrepresentation, illegal sentencing, and prejudicial convictions. We are the bearers of our own freedom.

We must encourage all prisoners to reach out and educate their peers, family, and friends, etc. It is imperative that our support system comes from the outside as well as the inside. Also that those who may be "freed" in the near future continue our struggle. This last issue is very important: prisoners without financial means should not have to be exempt from the Maoist study cell just because they're unable to pay the $5 membership fee. So I ask all brothers and sisters to come together and donate money so that all our comrades can participate. It is their revolution just as much as it is ours!

Power to the people who don't fear freedom!

Free all political prisoners!

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[Organizing] [Florida]
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Staying strong is our obligation

As I write this communique I am in an empty cell void of all creature comforts. I am on 72 hour linen and clothing restriction because an officer lied and wants to make me commit suicide. I sit in this "think tank" of steel and concrete and I contemplate life in its totality. I wonder will I live to see better times? Will I ever get out of the belly of this beast or will I die and my memories be forgotten like so many before me. Even though I have a release date nothing is promised to anyone. There is no guarantee that I won't be murdered by these officers just like Ra'd (RIP).

As I contemplate my current state of existence I wonder do I have the fortitude and resilience to endure the bad just like I enjoyed the good? Surely it doesn't take no hell of a lot of wisdom to realize with good days there will be bad days. Some bad days will include having officers tamper with your food, mail, lie on you. Get your property taken away. Get bogus write-ups and anything else they can think of to grind your soul down to a fine powder and blow you to the wind. I have had the good days where no officer is harassing me. All my mail is coming on time. I eat all the canteen I can buy. Even had the people in the courts grant some appeals.

I accepted those good days with the vibrant anticipation of one day being free, and so now I must feel the pure reality of my life and the low state in which I have allowed myself to fall. I must open my eyes wide to the moment that speaks of bondage, oppression, suffering, and despair. I must pay close attention to the lesson being taught, lest I prove to be an unworthy student in this school of hard knocks. I must not let cold steel and concrete crush my will to be a strong man. I will not let the sadistic intent of those who are mere minions for the imperialists have victory over my existence.

It is my solemn vow to the memories and hard fought efforts of my ancestors to be stronger than anything these people can inflict upon me. I get weary and depressed. I get discouraged and confused, but those are the pains that come before the gain.

I implore of you comrades everywhere to not give up. Thoughts of suicide are wasted thoughts that could be better spent. When things are at their worst, think of all the other hard times you've made it through. No matter what, don't let the beast crush your will to survive. Don't let the beast crush your soul. Staying strong is our obligation.

MIM(prisons) adds: When faced with sterile, tortuous conditions, people with something to hold onto to keep them going can usually make it through. Some find that in family, or religion, or fighting for justice. However, self-preservation in and of itself is not a righteous goal, by proletarian moral standards. As Mao said, a reactionary's life is as light as a feather.

We do promote revolutionary organizing as a better solution to depression and other difficult mental states. It is better, because it is by struggling against the conditions and systems that created your mental state that you can both overcome the problems you face as an individual and prevent others from having to go through the same difficulties.

Whether its thoughts of one's ancestors who stood strong or of those you know who submitted to depression and drug abuse. Wherever we find our inspiration, all people who are part of an injust system (as we all are) are obligated to change that system. That is the moral code of those who have nothing to lose but their chains.

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[Theory] [Organizing] [Security] [ULK Issue 13]
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Security in the prison movement

In a system where the threat of torture by long-term isolation and other forms of repression constantly hangs above the heads of those who hold political views different from their captors, security is a vital question. Of course, the threat is different when working outside anonymously with MIM(Prisons) than working inside, face-to-face. Repression inside prisons is much more imminent than it is for our comrades on the streets. In prison, conditions are different and freedoms are limited, leaving comrades with much different tactics to choose from.

Strategically, however, the question of security behind bars is more the same than it is different from on the streets. Semi-underground organizing is an example of a universal strategy for operating behind enemy lines. The practice of semi-underground organizing recognizes that just because you didn't break any laws doesn't mean you will not face repression for your actions or beliefs, and there is more cost than benefit of putting all your cards on the table. On the organizational scale, semi-underground can be applied by layering your organization with different levels of openness. This makes it harder for the pigs to pinpoint leaders and isolate an organization.

Another strategical question is, how do we deal with potential infiltrators who join our ranks in order to gather information and create disruption, or bad-jacket the organization? Many comrades have provided suggestions for how to address this issue. There is a bourgeois approach to security and there is a proletarian approach. The difference between the two is still generally applicable even in different organizing conditions, and is discussed below.

A key issue that is being raised in California is, why work with prisoners who are on Special Needs Yards (SNY)? This is a good question since a lot of potential comrades, as well as comrades already in the struggle, have contempt for individuals who collaborate with the state. It is important that we understand that not everyone on SNY is there because they debriefed or snitched. Some people are on SNY because they are victimized on mainline, or don't want to participate in the typical bullshit that comes with mainline for whatever reason. So not everyone on SNY is there because of piggish behavior, but the rest of this article is a discussion of those comrades who are.

MIM(Prisons) is a prison ministry that seeks to organize and educate prisoners not just to see the inhumane conditions that they find themselves in, but also to see the bigger picture of imperialism. When you read what MIM has put out regarding our security practices then one should be able to gain a perspective as to why MIM(Prisons) operates the way it does. What good would it do for MIM(Prisons) to only work with people based on the fact that they haven't snitched yet? Everyone is a possible cop or agent working for the imperialists. In fact, in this country, someone is more likely to be a cop or spy than to be a revolutionary of some sort. Even within the communist movement itself there exists a capitalist arm in the form of cops, agents, snitches, and collaborators with the imperialists.

We see this as a line struggle. Anyone can pretend to be USW inside, just like anyone can pretend to represent MIM(Prisons) or Maoism. If they uphold the line set forth by the vanguard organization and/or movement, then they're out there working to advance the struggle. If they are upholding a bourgeois line, and people cling to it, then the people didn't understand the vanguard line in the first place. We should work with a comrade because they have the correct line, not because they are on mainline.

Why should they be barred from being a communist if they have snitched in the past? Why should anyone not have the right to see the liberation of their people, nation, the oppressed? What matters most is what one does after they have discovered themselves as a communist revolutionary. It's not just the lumpen who are reforming criminals, they mostly did small-time stuff. All amerikans are reforming criminals who have robbed from and victimized the majority of the world. If we are recruiting in the united $tates, we are attempting to reform criminals into communists, and this is the revolutionizing of humyns that must take place in conjunction with the revolutionizing of the economy and all the institutions that serve it.

The other side of this is that even if one is a cop, gathering info, there's really not that much they will find if information is given out on an as-needed basis. When the movement is organized into isolated cells, they may be able to take down one or two people, but the struggle goes on. In the meantime, the cop had to put in a lot of genuine work in order to get the little information they got. Particularly where communists are the minority, the cop ends up doing more work for us than against us. This structure is part of what being a semi-underground organization means.

Of course, the fact that the state has taken the time to infiltrate and try to eliminate a group says a lot about the group's politics. As Marxist-Leninist-Maoists, we put forth revolutionary science, or dialectical materialism. A concrete historical analysis shows that it is not WE but THEY, the imperialists, who are on the wrong side of history. They will lose eventually. Our struggle is a protracted (scientific) one, to put forth the correct line, so even if MIM(Prisons) goes down there will still be others with the tools to continue forward.

With regards to the prison movement, it's understandable that these criticisms arise due to the fact that SHU placement falls on those who organize for better or for worse. So why does MIM(Prisons) support prisoners who walk away from their lumpen organizations? The lumpen class, by definition, is a parasitic class. Both the lumpen and the imperialists are capitalists whose material wealth comes from others' work. One has the power to exploit by making the laws, while the other makes money outside the law in an underground economy with a law unto itself. Saying, “I understand the LOs need work, but why work with those who walk away?” is just like the bourgeoisie saying “I know we need work, but why give opportunities to prisoners or criminals to help out, they broke our law?” Just like people who walked away and are now on SNY, they too broke the law.

Divide and conquer is a tactic used by the administration to bring down revolutionary groups and to keep revolutionary groups from forming. Evidence suggests that LOs are purposefully put up against each other in order to bring each other down. This basically means that if you're in an LO that's victimizing other oppressed people, then you are unwittingly an agent of the state's oppressive apparatus. Even if you say “fuck the k9s” or “fuck the administration,” your actions are counter-revolutionary.

A serious revolutionary will not determine to not work with someone who's never had revolutionary politics or training just because when that person was in a LO they engaged in the debriefing process. A “revolutionary” that snitches is very different from someone who is put between a rock and a hard place of working with one of two organizations that are both engaged in anti-people activity. Plus, you never know who could be dropping kites on you. Just because someone exposes themselves to you doesn't mean they're the only threat on the mainline.

For the LOs to put an end to snitching among their membership, they will have to stop engaging in activities that might cause someone with love for their people to break ranks. When your practice does not coincide with the line you put out, discipline will fail, no matter how brutal it might be. The vanguard cannot water down its politics just to let everyone know we're cool. Watering down politics is engaging in opportunism and will ultimately destroy the vanguard.

Another suggestion that has come up is that we look at people's histories, where they've been locked up and why they were sent there, as part of our intelligence gathering. This amounts to trusting the lumpen as long as the imperialists (or their petty-bourgeois bureaucrats) can vouch for them. This is a backwards and dangerous approach to security. The bourgeois approach to security is based on intelligence gathering and psychologizing individuals, while the proletariat must look to political line and consistent practice.


Notes:
see MIM's 2005 Congress: Resolutions on Cell Organization for more discussion of the cell structure, why persynal histories are irrelevant and security theory in general.

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[Organizing] [Texas]
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Living Unity

The most common reasons brothers in Texas and many other states will not unite on their plantations is because of race. And the fact that they feel we can't win regardless of what we do or how hard we fight. I feel also it's because they are scared of what would happen if we did win. It could also be that they are scared of what they might learn about the next race and feel about the next race after we unite.

It's common to hear somebody say "I can't say nothing because he not my race." But in most cases they wouldn't speak up if the next man was. Many people claim to have the upmost "love & respect" for their "people". But would not hesitate to hurt one of their "people" over a bag of coffee or a two dollar bet. What a way to show that you love your "people."

But it never mattered and never will matter who your "people" are, or what race we are. Because in truth we are one and the same. We are oppressed and walking a thin line on each and every plantation. So it's sad to see the New Afrikans and Latinos fight and bicker over nothing. Because we all know that New Afrikans and Latinos come from very similar backgrounds and struggles. But most of us are scared of unity between the two, simply because we are scared of the unknown.

So in result we'll hear brothers, black and brown, preach unity with so much passion. They'll go so far as threaten the slave masters with unity and scream about taking a "stand." but will never actually live out this "unity" they stress is so important. Because they feel we can't beat the "man" anyway. But how do we know unless we try?

So what we fail to realize is that we become the man. When we help to oppress our brothers. So what we really are is the oppressor talking about unity! Now most will say "I'll never oppress one of my own." But will turn an eye when somebody is being extorted just because he's not "tough enough." Or keep walking when we see an "inmate" being beat by the slave masters. Then get back on the block and say "that would never happen if we show unity."

So we end up right where we started "talking" about unity. But in truth it's not about "talking" about or showing unity. It's about living unity. But not just when the slave masters are watching. But in every thing we do, how we live, and how we care ourselves. Regardless of race, families, gangs, and where's somebody's from. Once we begin to live unity amongst ourselves it will begin to manifest itself. And then reveal itself in the most important times.

So when we talk about organizing "strategies and tactics." We should focus on how to get everybody to start living unity instead of just talking about it.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We would add to the thought "how do we know unless we try?" that there is reason to have strategic confidence when we embrace internationalism. As a small oppressed group, how can we end oppression? But most people in the world are oppressed by imperialism, and MIM(Prisons) has confidence that billions of people are stronger than the wealth and technology of the imperialist powers. By strategizing together we can begin to build the unity necessary to make that victory a reality.

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [Potosi Correctional Center] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 14]
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CO undermines hunger strike, causes death

On March 6, James McKinney died at Potosi Correctional Center. In the Washington County paper it said natural causes (heart attack). Now for the real story. James McKinney was in solitary confinement with me. So I'm giving you a first person account of the events that I believe led to this man's death. In early or mid-February McKinney was assigned to cell 2C-20 for a minor infraction. His first couple of days there he ran afoul of COI Shannon Clubbs (as many prisoners do). COI Clubbs harassed and verbally abused McKinney daily. In protest of this ill treatment James McKinney declared a hunger strike. He also sent a letter of protest to Senator Robin Wright-Jones.

When you have missed a certain amount of meals, you are automatically referred to medical personnel for a physical. Two times when he was approaching this certain amount of missed meals COI Clubbs opened McKinney's food port and threw a noon-time meal in his cell. He then logged as if McKinney accepted a meal, effectively rescinding the food strike. The second time Clubbs did this McKinney screamed on the walk that Clubbs was setting him up, Clubbs was laughing and taunting him the whole time. To add insult to injury, he also gave McKinney a conduct violation for accepting a food tray and then not returning it when the meal was over. This is a common and favorite tactic of confinement COIs. We (all the prisoners) did kick and holler for assistance from other COIs to no avail, so when McKinney finally saw medical, he was in worse shape than they thought, because he had missed triple the meals as the files indicated because of Clubbs manipulating the files, but no one would listen to him or us. He wrote a letter to Senator Robin Wright-Jones explaining the harassment by PCC staff in general and COI Clubbs in particular. I'm not sure how long it was, but it was well past 2 weeks, maybe 3 before he was convinced to eat, the first couple of days in March early in the morning he was complaining about chest and he went to medical as a self-declared patient - 3 or 4 days later he was dead.

I'm not a doctor and I don't know anything about his health or lack of health, but he wasn't overweight, looked to be in good shape, a quiet respectful brother. I asked him a couple of times if he was cool and he said he had things under control. I tried to rally everyone to form a peaceful protest, but these passive-assed conformed-as-slaves won't put up any type of resistance. My focus is COI Clubbs. Me and a couple of comrades wrote letters to Senator Robin Wright-Jones, State Rep Linda Fischer, Lisa Jones of constituent services. I have several copies of complaints on COI Clubbs in the last 6 or 7 months, about his abuse, harassment.

I just don't know what to do next. I am not afraid of them so educate me and tool me up and I'll stay on their asses here. Several convicts have won suits against them over the years. They pay but never change their repressive policies.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We print this article to continue our discussion about which strategies and tactics are available and useful to us in our struggles to end oppression worldwide. We need to analyze our options with a realistic and material perspective, and with that we need to measure their limitations. One lesson we can learn from this prisoner's tragic death is that hunger strikes by individuals are vulnerable to manipulation by COs and administration. As we explained to another comrade in ULK 13, a protest needs to be well-planned and considered from all angles. The more we can learn about the limitations of our tactics, the better equipped we will be to use them effectively.

Another error we would point out is the assertion that COI Clubbs is a problem separate from the repression of the imperialist system. We think it is important to bring attention to this abuse, and to name names for accountability's sake. But focusing all energy on getting COI Clubbs fired doesn't impact imperialism in general. In fact, it does the opposite by reinforcing the idea that the system is good; that the problem is just a few "bad apples" who can be dealt with on an individual level. In our agitational work, it is important to be clear about what the true problem is and the correct strategy to address that problem.

The fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of prison staff with similar accusations against them demonstrate that firing one guard does not usually improve the conditions of prisoners at a particular facility. In other words, getting Clubbs fired doesn't ensure that the next guy that goes on hunger strike won't face the same fate. However, developing strategy among prisoners who are facing these conditions and building outside support will help avoid such tragedies and make comrades' lives last longer and be more effective in their resistance.

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[Police Brutality] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 17]
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Political Statement from the ECCO

The ECCO has taken it upon itself to confirm and clarify what the ECCO is as well as our purpose, which is defined by examination and analysis on the dynamics of our main organization, so that an understanding of us is built within other Crip affiliates, and political and non-political lumpen organizations and individuals. ECCO is the East Coast Consolidated Crip Organization, an anti-imperialist cadre that works in conjunction with the internationalist united front against imperialism. We propose that the main organization adopt the acronym Community Revolutionary Internationalist Party.

ECCO is a prison-orchestrated, clandestine movement that acknowledges and utilizes a doctrine of reformism as a tactical maneuver necessary within our organization to help advance the individual and collective direction of our organization. We accept reform within our organization to better fight the oppressive system and ignorance overwhelming our ranks; we do not apply reform as unprincipled class collaboration with our enemies. We advocate the value of reformist concepts as a tactic in overall revolutionary struggle, understanding that we only do so because on one level no revolutionary situation in respects to armed struggle exists at present within the United $tates, and on another level because our organizational structure is flawed in numerous ways and a revolutionary war cannot be entered, managed, maintained and won without addressing the contradictions within us and other external complications affecting us.

We function under the ideology of Neo-Cripism, engendered from within the ECCO to help attain the goal of injecting political, socio-economic and revolutionary consciousness into Crips' core, along with one centralized belief to govern the whole of the organization. Recently, an ideology was non-existent within this state, at least one that was correct and effective. What existed was and still is an eclectic collection of ideas incorrectly adopted and bastardized from our 1993 alliance with the Gangster Disciples. Is this to say that the Disciples' concepts are wrong? No. This is to say that our "leaders" took on a system that wasn't based on the specifics of our organization's characteristics and socio-economic conditions; city-to-city, state-to-state. In doing so, they stunted the development of Crip and each of our organizations individually.

An ideology is the systematic, scientific, cultural, economic, political, social and moral values of a people. It enables the organization and/or movement to coordinate its set aims/goals through its organized activities/social practices via the ideological indoctrination of its members as it relates to concrete conditions that define the organization. Without an ideology an organization or movement will fail in the primary factors it claims to represent.

For the Crips to exist in this state as in other areas it has to be understood that a doctrine needs to be established in every area that complies with all internal and external activities of the organization so it functions. It's not possible for the Crips to truly aggregate (become whole) with no common organizational structure created for them. Those of us who are conscious of the contradictions within our organization, who seek to develop a genuine concept for the organization without fear of internal repression, opt for the ECCO and Neo-Cripism - an ideology established with the revolutionary-internationalist influences of scientific Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Frantz Fanon, the Black Panther Party, The New Afrikan Black Panther Party- Prison Chapter, George L. Jackson and the Black Liberation Army.

Our goal is not simply to establish a new design into the Crip history books, but to make it a common belief within our organization that we hold an extreme amount of revolutionary potential as a multinational lumpen organization comprised of the oppressed New Afrikan, Latino, Samoan, Asian, poor white and Indian races to name a few. This gives us an advantage in our resistance to oppression, white supremacy and imperialism.

No change within the reality of the Crips or the society around us is possible without those of us who step forward, risking suppression and taking the initiative upon themselves to bring that change about. We err in this state by not creating a system to go with the conditions here and fail again in denouncing our East Coast Crip identity. To identify ourselves as West Coast Crips because a number of the Crip gangs we belong to in this state migrated from California is an overplayed concept that is unrealistic and based in subjectivity.

All thought within the ECCO is put forth from universal objective observation and rationalization to understand situations in every aspect and angle. Our reality as an urban counter-cultural paramilitary unit and pro-community organization is our own to uphold. If we fail to advance then it's from our own failure to seize the time and shape the reality to our desire and uplift ourselves from the multiple layers of oppression we're faced with.

"The mistakes of the past must be exposed without sparing anyone's sensibilities, it is necessary to analyze and criticize what was bad in the past with a scientific attitude so that work in the future will be done more carefully and done better... In treating an ideological or political malady, one must never be rough and rash but must adopt the approach of curing the sickness to save the patient, which is the only correct and effective method."
- Quotations from Chairman Mao, p.263

MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade is applying the strategy of "unity from the inside out" as developed by MIM(Prisons) and United Struggle from Within (USW). Unity among progressive forces must begin from within. Different organizations cannot unite on principles if the organizations themselves have no principles. Therefore we encourage others to work with USW and MIM(Prisons) to develop unity within themselves and with each other as part of the Anti-Imperialist United Front.

In this statement, the ECCO applies the word "race" to address the multinational character of their organization. Races do not exist, and race is a concept created by the racist oppressor nations. Nations do exist, and there are many oppressed nations within the borders of the United $tates. MIM(Prisons) sees the principal contradiction within U.$. society to be between the oppressor and oppressed nations. At the same time, the oppressed nations themselves have been more integrated and bourgeoisified than at any other point in history. While history has shown the usefulness of nation-specific parties and organizations, the lumpen class often finds itself organizing across national lines in spite of the strong divisions that the state has encouraged. What form future revolutionary movements take will depend on the development of the different contradictions along both class and national lines.

The concept of "reform" presented here by ECCO is related to the question of the nature of a contradiction. There are antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions. Contradictions among the oppressed are non-antagonistic, because ultimately their interests are the same. The contradiction between the oppressed and imperialism is antagonistic, meaning you cannot reform imperialism to serve the oppressed. But you can reform an organization of the oppressed to serve the oppressed as is proposed here. This does not mean that it is always possible or that it is the most effective path. Often times, organizations are entrenched in their ways and new ones must be formed. It is up to the comrades in each situation to determine whether internal reform and unity from the inside out is the fastest route to mobilizing the oppressed around them for anti-imperialism.

As Lenin best explained, without a scientific vanguard party a revolutionary movement cannot reach the point of overcoming the status quo. So as MIM(Prisons) works to develop unity with other organizations we will also struggle with our most advanced comrades to join or form vanguard elements that are distinct from the mass movements that most of us start out in. This is an application of the law of unequal development.

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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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