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News From the National Territory: 215 Secret Graves in Jackson Mississippi

numbered grave markers
Numbered posts marking unnamed graves in Mississippi

Within the NAIM, when We think of the Hinds County Mississippi We often think of El-Malik, or many of Our movement elders building independence for Our people in the heart of dixie. On December 18th when NBC News published the identities of 215 buried bodies that had been secretly hidden behind the Hinds County Penal Colony in a ‘Paupers’ graveyard. These 215 people were all buried there between 2016 and December 2023. In total 672 people were buried at this location. Although each of the 215 graves were marked by a metal pole with a number attached indicating unclaimed or unidentified remains, in truth each one of these 215 people were identified by the Hinds County officials and were only unclaimed because officials did not attempt to notify kin of the deceased.

The Wade Family

Of the hundreds of the affected families one of the most striking stories is that of the Wade family, whose matriarch Bettersten Wade was instrumental in bringing the existence of the secret graveyard, next to the jail, to public attention.

In 2019, Jackson pigs pulled over Bettersten’s brother, pulled em out of eir car and slammed em to the ground in such a way that it caused eir death. Eir sister, Bettersten Wade, became a recognizable figure in the local Jackson community as ey waged a relentless public battle to advocate for prosecution of the pigs who were responsible. One of the pigs was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a mere five years. Subsequently, Bettersten Wade filed a wrongful death suit against the Jackson Police Department, this lawsuit is ongoing and has been highly publicized in the local news.

On 5 March 2023, Bettersten Wade’s 37 year-old son, Dexter Wade, left home with a friend but never returned. Bettersten Wade filed a missing person’s report and continuously contacted Jackson and Hinds County officials for months but never got a reply. Then, five months after the fact, an investigator came to eir home to inform em of Dexter’s death.

The story coming from the pigs is that an hour after leaving home, Dexter was hit by a police vehicle driven by a off-duty pig. The illegitimate authorities claim they’ve been unable to reach Ms. Bettersten Wade for months, despite finding Dexter’s wallet with eir I.D. and Ms. Wade’s address, and with Ms. Wade being a known local figure due to eir struggle against police murder of eir brother. Nevertheless, Dexter’s body was buried behind the jail with the number 672 stuck to the pole. To make matters worse, once Ms. Wade found the burial plot ey was told ey would have to pay $250 to the county to have eir son’s remains retrieved, as eir body was considered property of the state of Mississippi!

Ms. Wade and eir lawyer requested to be present when the body was examined, and ey was denied even that dignity and eir humyn courtesy. Dexter’s remains were not embalmed, nor put in a casket, but were stuck in a bag causing rapid decomposing in a shallow grave. When Ms. Wade and eir lawyer arrived the remains of Dexter had already been dug up, “breaking the chains of custody” necessary to determine Dexter’s actual cause of death.

From the results of a later independent autopsy, Dexter Wade’s body was in advance state of decomposition, showed multiple blunt force injuries to the skull, ribs, and pelvis; in addition eir left leg was completely amputated from eir body. Eir body had been completely ran over by a police vehicle. By secretly burying the body without notifying the family, it makes it unlikely that the official findings of “accidental death” could later be questioned. Number 672 was never meant to be uncovered. But ey was. And the hidden horrors connected to Dexter’s death and burial would subsequently lead to many more families coming forward, finding missing loved ones secretly buried in Pauper’s graveyard behind the prison.

The striking similarities between the Emmett Till murder and attempted cover-up among county and state officials, and this contemporary tragedy highlights the ever present need for programs for decolonization in Jackson and the National Territory more generally. Each tragedy and struggle the people experience in which the inadequacy and/or corruption of the U.$. colonial government can be implicated, is an issue We can organize around to intensify the class struggle for national unity.

Intensify the class struggle for national unity

Our lives depend on it!

Re-Build to win!

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[Prison Food] [Abuse] [Control Units] [Police Brutality] [Political Repression] [Bill Clements Unit] [Ferguson Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 84]
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How the Prison War Looks in Texas Ad-Segs

“[A]ll over the world now the institution of the prison serves as a place to warehouse people who represent major social problems.” - Angela Y. Davis

Looking at the incarcerated world around us, it is no wonder the numbers of New Afrikan and other darker hued people who are captive is so high. It is no wonder why the level of illiteracy is most highly concentrated among the incarcerated. It is no wonder the level of schooling is low among the captive population. It is no wonder why there is more money invested in mental health services behind bars than in free world facilities.(1)

All this means that when we imagine our resistance against prison systems we must see prison as being more than just the place where people who commit crimes are sent. We have to begin to analyze the interconnected and multi-layered oppression within prison.

A key feature in warfare is physical violence. In prison, “official” physical violence is documented as use of force. The most use of force and most excessive use of force in Texas takes place at Bill Clements, specifically amongst its PAMIO program participants. PAMIO, for those who do not know, is a psychiatric program designed for those in Ad-Seg.

If you follow the logic, Texas residents with psychiatric illness are more likely to be held captive by the state, while in captivity they have a greater chance to be held in Administrative segregation (Ad-Seg). While in Ad-Seg their psychiatric state is likely to deteriorate and they are likely to face “official” physical violence at the hands of their captors at greater numbers than those without documented psychiatric history.

Conditions At Clements

Our situation at Bill Clements Unit Ad-Seg or ECB, Extended Cell Block they call it, has not improved. Although less deaths we are seeing a rise in starvation, torture, neglect, and unsupervised migrant workers running the prison as they see fit with little to no training. Regardless of what administration says. These Africans on this unit have not been taught day rules, standard operating procedures, and have zero regard for this so called rule book. And why shouldn’t they when there is no enforcement and or reprimand on the side of TDCJ.

During the last shakedown, a state-wide attempt to catch contraband, they had me in a cage outdoors for 2 hours while they tossed my cell. Guards and inmates watched me in handcuffs while Major Pacheo instructed Field Boss Shrader to steal all my electronics and commissary food items – over 200 dollars worth. All this I believe is because my toilet hasn’t worked for months and I keep requesting maintenance but it never comes. Same with the broken shower and the water leak resulting in a wet floor. I have receipts for all the electronics and commissary items they stole, and I listed all this and the witnesses on grievance – they put the witnesses on chain! Nobody goes on chain unless it’s to Montford Psych or hospital.

The second week of December we were allowed to shop commissary, the second time in 4 months. Breakfast chow consisted of two tablespoons of scrambled eggs with a quarter inch of grits and applesauce. In total it was 4 spoons of food. For lunch and dinner we had a cheese sandwich. They back-doored commissary with a shakedown and stole what we purchased.

I was allowed 1 hour out of my cell twice this year. The “weekly” library ran 9 times. Average time to see a mental health professional is 9-12 months. Delivered mail can sit in the mail room for over 6 months. They are understaffed and don’t have enough people to properly run the facility. Once they tried to put some beef on dough and call it pizza, it was not cooked and the meat was bad. Raw dough and spoiled meat. No shit. No exaggeration.

Not feeding us is not only to starve us but to keep us from relaxing. We are constantly fasting involuntarily. The hunger keeps us anxious and irritable, to put it mildly. In my pod of 60 I have seen 12 people lifted out on stretchers this year, nobody checking for a pulse or performing CPR. That’s 1 per month on average. This cell is worse than the third world POW camps I visited during my time in the USMC. The corruption is so bad with so many hands in the cookie jar that one cannot even get a judge to hear them out about violations. TDCJ just ignores our requests and cites their lack of staff as to why they have nobody to process the documents.

War in Ferguson

On November 16th all the interconnected elements of prison war worked together on the Ferguson unit as five officers, unprovoked and without cause, entered the cell of two men demanding they submit to a complete strip search and handcuffs. When one of the captives asked why, he was immediately hit in his face with closed fist by CIT Gates while SGT Vasquez grabbed the captive’s head and slammed it against the concrete wall, causing injury. The captive fell to the ground and was kicked, his head was banged against the floor repeatedly. Afterwards he was dragged to the run, outside of the cell, where he was continuously kicked in his face and was even stood on. The entire time other captives were yelling in protest for the guards to stop, but they refused. While on another row, but hearing what was happening, I began launching projectiles from my cell. Eventually this caused the guards to cease their beating. They escorted the beaten man away, then returned minutes later to handcuff and escort me.

I was housed in solitary two cells down from the victim. I had the opportunity to speak with him for the first time, find out first hand what took place. He also shared with me his history of intellectual disabilities, and mild history of psychiatric illness. He had been adopted at a young age and raised in the foster care system. Our time near each other came to a close after the pressures of solitary confinement pushed this brother to attempt suicide. Days later as a result of this incident I was notified by the Ferguson Unit Warden Wheat that I would be reassigned to Administrative Segregation, under trumped up charges of assault on staff with a weapon.

Attempts to appeal the reassignment to Ad-Seg have been hampered by Unit Grievance Officer D. Turner not allowing my appeal of classification to go through.

I have personally reported the unprovoked excessive assaults these same clique of guards have taken part in in the five months I’ve been on Ferguson. There is a culture of unmitigated brutality here and the slightest show of counter-force is excessively punished. Warden Wheat has been made aware of this clique of pigs constantly assaulting people without cause, he has ignored or punished reporters.

Prison is War. Prison is Violence. Administrative Segregation is the highest form of it, where prisoncrats are allowed to hide you and abuse you away from any and all scrutiny. A tool that is used to throw away resisters in the prison battlefield. End RHU!

Sources: (1) Angela Y. Davis, Freedom is a Constant Struggle, pp. 23-24.

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[Black Lives Matter] [Civil Liberties] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Police Brutality] [ULK Issue 83]
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RICO Act Tool of Political Warfare

stop cop city - drop charges

In the last month we have seen the state of Georgia bring RICO Act charges against Rudy Giuliani and others who worked with Donald Trump to steal the 2020 U.$. presidential election, as well as activists who were doing things as simple as handing out fliers opposing the construction of Cop City in Atlanta.

The Federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was enacted in 1970 as a tool to charge people with crimes when they were having other people do their dirty work for them. Each crime charged under RICO can add years to ones prison sentence. The Georgia RICO Act of 1980 covers more crimes than the federal version. The Georgia Act makes Racketeering a felony in the state.(1) Historically, we have had multiple readers who were victims of RICO Act charges brought during the Giuliani years in New York City, and more recently in the Atlanta area, for their leadership roles in lumpen organizations, the more typical target of RICO.

Rudy Giuliani earned fame as a federal prosecutor for getting Mafia bosses in New York City convicted on RICO Act charges. He then used his reputation to become a “tough-on-crime” mayor of New York City known for “cleaning up” the city. It was during Giuliani’s time as Mayor of NYC that the infamous case was brought against King Blood (aka Luis Felipe) under the RICO Act. King Blood was charged for murders committed while ey was already in prison and received the inhumane and unprecedented sentence of life in solitary confinement. All of King Blood’s First Amendment rights to communication were denied, allowing only communication with eir lawyer and immediate family. This was not typically something a judge could sentence, but was justified via the racketeering statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(d).(2) Decades later, King Blood still sits in a torture cage in ADX Florence, isolated from the world. While the RICO charges against Giuliani may provide some cathartic humor, the 79-year-old will not be facing anything like King Blood is doing.

Weeks following the Georgia RICO Act charges against Trump, Giuliani, et al., another set of RICO Act charges (and domestic terrorism charges) were made against 61 activists involved in opposing the construction of Cop City in Atlanta. This is a continuation of the state’s warfare against Stop Cop City, including the ludicrous money laundering charges brought against bail support fundraisers we reported on in the last issue of ULK.(3) In the recent RICO indictment, the date of the murder of George Floyd (25 May 2020) is cited as the beginning of the investigations around the so-called “racketeering.” In other words, the state was trumping up these charges against activists before there was a Stop Cop City movement. This is not about stopping any criminal conspiracy, it is about repressing any opposition to the use of lethal police force against New Afrika and oppressed people in general. It is a defense of the state’s right to wage violent war against New Afrika.

In a recent article, a comrade laid out the political nature of the law, debunking the myth that laws were developed as a way to impose morality or address inherent problems in society.(4) Rather law stemmed from the need to manage the division of humyns into classes. With Trump/Giuliani, we see the RICO Act law being used by the bourgeoisie to discipline other bourgeoisie who are threatening the image of bourgeois democracy. And in the case of the 61 activists they are using the same law to discipline youth and oppressed nations who are opposing more violent forms of state discipline.

When we go up against the courts, the police, or even the politicians, we must be prepared for war. The cops murdering us in cold blood is war. The courts and prisons putting us in torture cells for years is war. City governments in Atlanta and San Pablo, California funding cop cities where pigs can play war games is war. These more obvious forms of war, are part of political struggle. There are no rights, only power struggles. To engage in power struggles, requires giving the war two sides.

^*Notes:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_RICO_(Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations)_Act
2. Prison Legal News, 15 March 1999, Judicial Sentence of Life in Solitary Upheld.
3. A comrade, July 2023, “Law and the Courts of Late”, Under Lock & Key No. 82.
4. A comrade of Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support, July 2023 “Atlanta Criminalizes Protest Against Cop City”, Under Lock & Key No. 82.*^

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[New Afrika] [Abuse] [National Oppression] [Police Brutality] [Federal Correctional Institution Tucson] [Federal] [ULK Issue 83]
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The Murder of Tyre Nichols - Do You Approve?

Tyre Nichols Black Liberation

27 January 2023: At about 5:30-6:00 PM the nation watched the horrific video of 5 policemen who beat a man literally to death weeks prior. The man, Tyre Nichols, was handcuffed and had no way to defend himself as 5 large officers beat the man far beyond what anyone could call humane. Dogs don’t get beat this bad.

I saw this in my dorm from USP Tucson, in the day room. Of the seven televisions in the dorm, four was on the CNN broadcast of the vicious beating. At least half the dorm of over 100 prisoners in here watched in horror and shock, witnessing the same thing the rest of the United $tates (and the world) was viewing. I have never seen such interest in a television event outside a sports event.

I sent an email to the Warden of the prison, challenging him if he approved such methods. This could be seen as an insult, but what we see on the streets of America is simply a reflection of what commonly happens in the prisons of the United $tates. For decades staff brutality has been common, and often overlooked in prisons, because many may believe that the victim probably deserved it, or the prison staff will lie and cover up the act.

I have to believe that what happened to Tyre Nichols that horrible night, which resulted in his death a couple of days later, could have happened in part here at USP Tucson… multiple times, and happens in many jails and prisons in our country.

I believe this likely happened to a prisoner here back in November of 2022, shortly after an incident in a nearby camp, where a prisoner managed to acquire a gun. He would have likely shot and killed an officer were it not for the fact that the bullets did not match the gun. We at USP Tucson went on a lockdown for 3 days, although we had absolutely nothing to do with that incident. That was a different facility, yet we were punished anyway, which led to a second incident.

A few days later, on November 18th, we went on a month long lockdown because we heard there was a “staff assault.” If this was the case then the usual protocol for prison staff is to beat that prisoner physically, then throw him in the SHU until the wounds heal… it is what they do.

How bad did they beat the prisoner here? Did they cuff him, and like cowards, beat that man with sticks, tase him, kick him and slam him on the walls? It’s pretty easy to beat a man if you outnumber him 5 to 1, and cuff his hands behind his back.

We have to compare what happens in prisons to what happens in the streets. We seem amazed that what happens to George Floyd, Rodney King or now Tyre Nichols, is so unusual. This is very common in the prisons, and you have to ask the staff here at USP Tucson if this is the method they approve of.

It must be, if it continues to happen.

Why would law enforcement treat humyn beings so horribly? And to be stupid enough to do it with a BODY CAM on? Did they not know that this would be viewable to anyone in time? Why would you beat a man to death, with the cameras on?

This is an idea that prisons fear greatly; they fear that if society knew what happens in prisons, coupled with how law enforcement is clearly losing the ethical training they have, there would be such a cry for justice that the country may not be able to contain it.

But consider: some don’t sympathize with prisoners being brutally beaten because in some way, they think that the sentence of prison comes with the brutality of abuse. Yet the Constitution clearly disagrees. No human being deserves to be treated like that, to be beaten by another officer. No officer working in the United $tates is given a green light by the government to beat prisoners. Yet, it happens, and many excuse it because maybe we believe that deep down, the prisoner must have deserved it.

So reflect back to Tyre Nichols, why would those cowardly officers beat a man to death? Could it be that maybe they felt that Tyre “deserved” to be beaten… but if so, why?

cops who killed Tyre Nichols
Five cops who were filmed murdering Tyre Nichols.

Here’s one idea, one I have seen from the prison point of view: In prisons, where there is a disturbance, they call it “hitting the deuces.” When this happens, for example from a fight, officers come running from everywhere. In seconds, you can see up to 50 officers on the scene.

But note, when this happens, these officers get into a different frame of mind. The adrenaline rush puts many of these officers in an almost rage. Once that rage sets in, that officer is looking for a reason to release it. They are almost HOPING for a physical altercation, so that they can release that rage that is created because the situation could be a violent riot where a life may be lost.

The problem here is that once an officer gets into that adrenaline they don’t know how to come down, and so they are looking for a release. This happens very often in prisons, and no doubt, it happens in society. The problem is that these officers are not taught to TALK down to de-escalation, rather they are looking to make demands and argue.

Prisons prove this happens all the time, and many prison officers are not trained to de-escalate a situation; they are left to act on their anger and rage, which results often in physical violence, most times on defenseless prisoners.

So, I asked the Warden, does he approve of the methods we saw in Memphis… based on how staff treats prisoners, I think we know the answer. Their advantage: they don’t wear body cams, so they can get away with murder, literally. All they have to do is blame it on the prisoner, lose the footage and lock everyone down for a few weeks, so they can clean up the mess.

The Warden, as of August 10th, never responded.

UPDATE: On 12 September 2023 the five pigs were indicted on federal civil rights charges in addition to the state charges of second-degree murder they are already being tried for. The four-count indictment charges each of them with deprivation of rights under the color of law through excessive force and failure to intervene, and through deliberate indifference; conspiracy to witness tampering, and obstruction of justice through witness tampering.

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Excessive Force or Not?

Proverbs 14:17:

A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated.

Part One: What Happened?

It is imperative to recount the details of an event that happened many years ago here at USP Tucson. At about 2:15pm, Thursday, July 21 st, an incident happened which begs this question: Did an officer here at USP Tucson use excessive force against a prisoner?

First, the details At about 2:15-2:30pm: a friend and I were sitting against the fence on the soccer field yard, near the corner of the yard. From where we sat, it was close to the sidewalk, which led into the hallway that was close to Education. We were the closest prisoners to the vantage point.

About that time, it was the Northside Program move, when the prisoners here can leave the dorm and go outside, or go back inside, or go to the Library, Indoor Recreation or other places, so there was movement of the prisoners, but also of staff as well, since it was also shift-change. As my friend and Isat in the shade, we saw volunteers from religious service leaving the building from the door closest to Education. They were coming from the Chapel, which was in the same building as Education. There were also two officers, one being the officer in question. Let’s call him Officer Burt, although Officer Coward could be a better name. The other officer I do not know.

At the same time, there was an elderly prisoner, Mr. Montgomery (his name I would learn later) who came down the walkway and headed towards Education - or that area. Normally prisoners don’t use the sidewalk to go to Education, they are supposed to go through the prison yard; but for whatever reason, he did not.

My friend and I saw Montgomery go in, just as the volunteers were leaving, through the same door. He went in, then we heard some exchange of words: someone was asking Montgomery why he didn’t go through the yard as he was supposed to. He was then told to leave; and as he came out, Officer “Burt” first told him to leave. Then he changed his mind, telling Montgomery to put his hands up, because Burt was going to put cuffs on him.

Montgomery… a 60+ year old man, turned to Officer Burt, and put his hands in front of him. I saw very clearly this action, and perhaps it might took like Montgomery was being aggressive; but he did EXACTLY what Officer Burt told him to do. Montgomery thrusted his two hands up in front of him, much like one would after running their hands through a bowl of water, pulling the hands upwards. But Officer Burt paused for a split second, then immediately went and grabbed Montgomery and slammed him into the fence.

Among the endless profanities Burt spoke - while the volunteers of the religious service looked on - Burt proceeded to roughly put Montgomery on the cement, breaking his glasses and drawing blood from his nose or lips. It was very clear that Montgomery wasn’t resisting, yet Burt roughly forced the prisoner face down on the cement… on a 105+ degree day, while the volunteers looked on.’

Montgomery showed no reasonable signs of resisting; an elderly man (or any man) slammed on the fence, then on a hot cement sidewalk while profanities are spewed over him, while forcing his arms to his back, will naturally resist a LITTLE: it’s a “fight or flight” reaction.

The second officer helped Burt subdue him, as help was called. It was shortly canceled, as Burt told them it was under control. The volunteers were held away by another officer, while Burt and the officer pinned Montgomery down, and put cuffs on him, as a bleeding Montgomery cried.

I then heard Officer Burt say, “He lunged at me”, to which I felt immediate contempt. He told the officers arriving on the scene that Montgomery LUNGED at him, which justified his actions. After cuffing him, they picked Montgomery up off the cement, and took him inside, Burt cursing continually.

Later, my friend and I sat there, furious at what Burt did to that old man. From the same doors to Education, a couple of staff members came out, looking at the small area of blood left by Montgomery. My friend and l were still there, in fact moved closer to see the blood spot. I overheard the two staff members talk about the incident, but tried not to be too nosy. One said, “i can’t believe he did that in front of those people”.

Who was he talking about? Montgomery… or Officer Burt?

So, I saw what happened, and was sickened by Officer Burt’s response to the situation. Naturally, when the other prisoners on the yard saw what happened, they came over to see the situation. They asked us what was going on, and I was adamant in saying that Montgomery did NOT lunge at the officer. One of the other prisoners said that the officers told Montgomery to go through the yard, and he refused. He was stubborn about it, and decided to take his own route to Education or Psychology. I heard he was trying to go to Psychology, so he could get his medication.

So—excessive force? Was Officer Burt’s actions necessary, or was this based on a man with a quick—temper? Consider the factors: USP Tucson — although a penitentiary, is almost non-violent. One case manager once said, “this is the softest penitentiary in the country.” Most prisoners are non—violent (at that time, because MUCH has changed in the last few years), or ex gang members trying to leave that life behind. So relaxed is this prison, that during rec move, the softball field, the middle yard, and the soccer field can be full of prisoners, with ZERO guards, because it is not needed. This was not an “active” yard, so aggressive confrontations with officers are minimal; hardly existent at all.

So was this exessive force? We’ll explore that in the second part.

Part Two: So Was it Exessive Force?

So, what are we looking at? A situation where an elderly man, in his 60s, is taken down by an officer when he “went the wrong way” here at USP Tucson. The officer (let’s call him Officer Burt) told the old prisoner to put his hands up because he was going to cuff him.

The prisoner, named Montgomery, did as he was told, and in the action, he put his hands up straight in the air. Officer Burt paused, then roughly pinned Montgomery to the fence, then took him down to the hot cement… all this while visitors to the prison for the religious service stood mere feet away.

Is this “Rodney King 101”, where an officer can justify rough and excessive treatment of an elderly prisoner, who happens to be on psyche medication? How will the prison justify this action? Normally this is a simple task for the prison to do; they’d just ignore the prisoner complaint and discredit anything we say. After all, nobody believes prisoners: that’s the running theory.

But there’s a problem with that this time: there were witnesses from outside the prison. Those volunteers for religious service came from ministries outside the prison, right here in Tucson. Will the prison say that those people didn’t see what they saw? Or, will those visitors believe Officer Burt’s story, and make Montgomery the villain? I might wager the latter, but it depends on what those people from religious service is willing to believe. I mean, I know what I saw; they saw the same thing.

So now the problems in society; the abuse of authority by officers, now reflects in this prison (which has always been an issue). This isn’t new: officers have been roughing up prisoners for the longest time, but the prison never took accountability, because it’s always our word (the prisoner) vs their word (the prison). But now with about 5—6 visitors from a ministry, looking on while Officer Burt virtually assaults a 60+ year old man, breaking his glasses and drawing blood, the prison has to find a way to spin this.

It was also interesting to note: I saw officers running to the scene when the “deuces” were hit (a call on the hand unit for help). I could be wrong, but when some of them arrived, they were hesitant to physically get involved because they saw the visitors. Had they NOT been there, would they have been more aggressive? Even the second officer with Burt seemed hesitant to assist Burt, possibly having a moral check; was he thinking, “is this the right way to go about this?”

So, what happens now? If I know this prison, they’ll defend the shield and do the wrong thing. An officer with a quick-temper showed poor judgment and excessive force on an elderly man on medication in front of a group of volunteers from outside the prison: witnesses. There is no question that in my eyes, my friend’s eyes, the prison surveillance and the volunteers who saw the incident that all the facts were congruent. It all matches.

So, IF the prison chooses to side with Officer Burt, they are wrong, and no different than abusive police officers who beat people or kill them, then justify it to the victim. Something has to be done to restore respect to these officers, and I fear that this prison may not be capable of doing that.

Proverbs 17:15 says:

“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord”.

I don’t expect the prison to do the “right thing”, because it would be an admission that they make mistakes. And they’d never admit that to prisoners. They’d rather cover it up, discredit or forget the valid points of view we give. Yet in doing this, prison abuse flourishes. Just two weeks prior to this incident, a man was murdered in the SHU (Specials Housing Unit) based squarely on prison ignorance and neglect. Officers have been accused of discrimination, yet the prison has been slow to act, if at all.

Bad behavior by officers is ignored, or even rewarded, since many get promotions; but half questionable behavior by prisoners have been met with full frontal condemnation.

Where does it end? Sadly, at this rate, it won’t. Prisons don’t learn from their mistakes, even if it is shown on television shows a hundred times. Prisons believe they can do what they want to prisoners because it’s some given right; and if (when) they do abuse people, it’s like Las Vegas: “What happens in [prison] stays in [prison].” Besides, who believes prisoners anyway?

But I didn’t lose my humanity when I got locked up. I still have values, so I will stand strong on this, regardless of what people say or think. Prisoner or not, people should be treated with a level of respect until something critical changes the situation. Officer Burt is known for having a temper; I had a run in with him before, and I am not a fan of his tactics at all. That doesn’t make me prejudiced against him (from one black prisoner to a black officer). I think he’s a bad officer, and persecutes prisoners because he can get away with it; and nobody working at USP Tucson has the intestinal fortitude to hold him accountable. Lots of officers here are like that: not ALL, because there are a couple of “good” officers here, but people like Officer Burt make prison so much harder than it needs to be.

The punishment is to BE in prison, not the abuse done by any officer. So, this incident which happened several years ago, as I look back at it. Montgomery got his family to sue the prison for abuse, which I helped by documenting what I saw. I hope it got Burt fired. But, years later, not much has changed. Bad officers get promoted, while the good ones leave, going elsewhere.

USP Tucson has gotten worse since then, so, I have to keep writing.

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[Organizing] [Police Brutality] [Civil Liberties] [ULK Issue 82]
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Atlanta Criminalizes Protest Against Cop City

police take lives, trees give life

The Stop Cop City struggle is ongoing.

We explored some of the developments of the Cop City struggle in our article The Struggle Against Cop City in Atlanta in ULK 81. Cop City, or the “Atlanta Public Safety Training Center” as the state calls it, has recently begun construction in Weelaunee Forest in Southwest Atlanta. This effort is funded primarily by the City of Atlanta and is to be owned and operated by the Atlanta Police Foundation. This is a pig training center with a supposed construction cost of $90 million, which will include a fake cityscape for police to learn tactics for suppressing urban resistance. This pig training center is part of a larger assault by the Amerikan state on New Afrikan communities and neighborhoods, along with the rise in gentrification, mass surveillance, police brutality and imprisonment rates. Some readers may remember the establishment of the community-run Rayshard Brooks Peace Center in 2020 and the subsequent state repression. No one can doubt that New Afrikan oppression is intensifying as the police and prison apparatus of the state continues to wreck havoc for the interests of the Euro-Amerikan nation.

In response to these developments, many diverse groups have organized against Cop City. For a while construction in Cop City was stalled because of forest defender activists occupying the intended site of deforestation, resisting raids by police to move them off the site. In this struggle an indigenous anarchist who went by the name Tortuguita was viciously murdered by police agents in a final raid of the forest.

Ongoing Developments in the Struggle

As the Stop Cop City movement continues, dozens of forest defenders and other protesters have been arrested on various felonies, from “domestic terrorism” to “intimidation of an officer.” For example, on 5 March 2023, Atlanta police arrested 23 protesters on “domestic terrorism” charges due to alleged property damage and trespassing, and that number has since risen to more than 40 over the last few months.(1, 2) These felonies are at least 20-year sentences in Georgia.

The state’s repeated arrests were an obvious cause for concern. A non-profit, the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, organized funding to bail out these protesters who were the target of state repression. On 31 May 2023, the 3 organizers of that fund have also been arrested, charged with “money laundering” and “charity fraud.”(3) This is yet another example of the state suppressing even the most legal forms of resistance.

While the DeKalb district attorney has declined to prosecute the arrests related to Cop City due to the unpopularity of Cop City, the Georgia attorney general has taken the cases and will still prosecute them.(4)

A “Stop Cop City” referendum petition has been filed (and approved on 21 June 2023) that will put Cop City on the Atlanta ballot if 75,000 signatures are produced in less than 60 days after the approval.(5) Many of the groups against Cop City have focused on this effort, which may have the unfortunate effect of completely legalizing the struggle (which is not a strategy for long-term political development).

Bigger than Cop City

As Maoists we always seek to develop a dialectical materialist perspective that correctly denotes the relations of nation, class, and gender at play. Cop City is no exception. One of the most critical weaknesses of the Stop Cop City movement is that an advanced politics (one that is revolutionary nationalist and aimed at the long-term struggle) is not yet a leading line. If this problem is not properly resolved, the movement will give way to movementism and the Stop Cop City struggle will fizzle out like the 2020 BLM struggle, becoming co-opted into liberal electioneering politics.

We must also look at the global nature of Cop City. The Atlanta Police Foundation is funded by Amerikan finance kapital, from the likes of Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Amazon, Delta Airlines, and Waffle House.(6) Prisons and policing are not a struggle unique to the United $tates. The development of these bourgeois state organs are being rapidly replicated around the world. Cop City can and will be a test run for building pig facilities among the Third World nations as capitalism-imperialism decays. The struggle against Cop City will thus also play a part in the larger anti-imperialist struggle, and this is why developing a revolutionary nationalist line on Cop City is a must in this struggle.

Towards a preliminary analysis, we can say that Cop City is an intensification of New Afrikan oppression in Atlanta. The Euro-Amerikan nation – both Euro-Amerikan kapital and Euro-Amerikan communities – is united towards the policy of increased policing, gentrification, and imprisonment of New Afrikan and other oppressed nation communities. The Stop Cop City movement requires a united front, one that includes all those groups opposed to these methods of oppression, whether these groups be New Afrikan, Indigenous, Chicano, Euro-Amerikan, etc, but maintains some form of dialectical-materialist, revolutionary nationalist leadership in order to expand scientifically.

We have readers often tell us they want to start non-profits, but the Cop City arrests show that there are limitations to this type of organization: the state can and does retaliate against non-profits who pose a threat to the Amerikan state’s interest. The Atlanta Solidarity Fund is one example, where the Amerikan state has no problem arresting protesters or even legal organizers under charges of money laundering if they pose enough of a threat to its expansionary interests.

Cop City reminds us of the need for independent institutions of the oppressed which are flexible and secure, and involve the masses at every step of operation. Campaigns like “Stop Cop City,” or “Abolish Control Units,” attack the war apparatus that is aimed at the population within U.$. borders, especially the internal semi-colonies. As the above recent events demonstrate, we must build organizations that are prepared for the repressive response of the state.

NOTES:
1. Sarah Taitz and Shaiba Rather, 24 March 2023, “How Officials in Georgia are Suppressing Political Protest as ‘Domestic Terrorism’”, ACLU News and Commentary.
2. Natasha Lennard and Akela Lacy, 2 May 2023, “Activists Face Felonies for Distributing Flyers on ‘Cop City’ Protester Killing”, The Intercept.
3. Jeff Amy and Kate Brumback, 31 May 2023, “3 activists arrested after their fund bailed out protestors of Atlanta’s ‘Cop City’”, ABC News.
4. Pamela Kirkland, 23 June 2023, “DeKalb County district attorney withdraws from prosecution related to proposed ‘Cop City’ training center near Atlanta”, CNN.
5. Joi Dukes, 24 June 2023, “‘Stop Cop City’ organizers in race against time for petition signatures”, FOX 5 Atlanta.
6. Margaret Kimberley, 25 Jan 2023, “Cop City Kills Before It Opens”, Black Agenda Report.

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[Police Brutality] [Black Lives Matter] [New Afrika] [Campaigns] [ULK Issue 81]
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The Struggle Against Cop City in Atlanta

stop cop city banner in trees

Since 2021, the city of Atlanta in conjunction with its police force and local developers and contractors, has been trying to bulldoze a significant part of the remaining forest in the city and construct an urban warfare training center for police officers. The forest, which formerly contained a slave labor camp and then a state farm ran on prisoner labor, has been the site of occupations, sabotage of construction equipment, protests and raids by the police. Recently, the cops murdered an activist staying in the encampment defending the forest, while revolts in downtown Atlanta and confrontations with police at the site of the forest have resulted in arrests and terrorism charges for dozens of activists. The movement has racked up several victories already, including delaying the construction of the training center by several months and driving several contractors off the project entirely. But the struggle continues. At press time, the forest faces clear-cutting for the initial stages of construction.

Background

Atlanta is a rapidly and brutally gentrifying city, with a nominally Black elected leadership but a housing and economic policy that has displaced thousands of lower income New Afrikan residents. Cops have been used to harass New Afrikan tenants out of public housing to facilitate redevelopment, rent has spiked well above the already bloated national average, and the arrival of movie production companies (facilitated by tax breaks and other favors) has been a major motor of gentrification across the city.(1) The elected leadership of the city is in a bind – they have to deliver economic growth and good jobs, and get re-elected by appearing to stand against police brutality and white supremacy, but are constrained by their own commitment to capitalism and inability to confront the real power structure of the city, which, as we will see soon, is mostly unelected.

Like most Amerikan cities, Atlanta saw a weeks-long uprising against the police following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. In Atlanta, also like other Amerikan cities, local cases of police brutality added extra impetus to the protesters and their demands. The murder of Rayshard Brooks in June of 2020 led to a revolt that burned down the Wendys he’d been killed at(2), the resignation of hundreds of police officers and even the trashing of the offices of the state police. Local lumpen organizations saw a temporary truce and occupied the Wendys site with arms against rumors of white militas seeking to march near the site of Rayshard Brooks’ death. In the wake of these and similar events police and correctional forces nationwide are facing difficulties filling their ranks and reeling from their abject failure to contain the disturbances of 2020, when over sixty thousand (3) National Guard troops had to be called out to back them up. The need for Cop City is itself a sign of weakness, paranoia and poor morale of the police force.

The Campaign in the City Council

In 2021, after the rebellion, the Atlanta City Council met in secret to arrange two land deals in the South Forest, the largest expanse of forest remaining in the Metro Atlanta area. One was to give a movie studio CEO, Ryan Milsap, a swathe of public land to bulldoze and build a large movie production studio on. A second was to give another large chunk of land to the Atlanta Police Foundation, a private nonprofit that gathers money from some of the largest businesses in the region and funds policing initiatives. The APF was to construct a mock city out of concrete, similar to U.S. Military urban warfare training sites, to prepare police to prevent another 2020 from happening. (4)

The Atlanta Police Foundation (APF) is interesting all on its own. It’s entirely private, with unclear finances and no accountability to the public. It’s staffed by former national security officers, real estate investors and retired police; and it has enacted several large-scale programs around the city by itself such as building a center for a massive surveillance network across the entire city which allows footage from thousands of cameras the foundation has installed to be reviewed at one location. The APF has also built up a house renovation program that buys cheap real estate in New Afrikan neighborhoods, remodels it and gives it to police recruits to live in. All of this is done with money donated by corporations ranging from Coca Cola (who did drop out of the Foundation after pressure from activists) to Norfolk Southern. To repeat: large capitalist firms are directly funding, with no public oversight, the extension of massive surveillance networks, police colonization of New Afrikan ghettos, and the construction of a training center intended to make cops more proficient at urban warfare.

The APF is best understood not as a slush fund or a shady organization behind the scenes, but as a de facto shadow government that actually runs the city on behalf of a mostly white bourgeoisie.(5)

Activists uncovered the land deals and organized protests and a campaign to persuade the city council to not approve the projects. After months of rallies, lobbying and canvassing, the Atlanta City Council voted in late 2021 to allow the project to proceed. This outcome, which many of the activists involved in the campaign predicted, marked the first defeat for Stop Cop City. The coalition that managed this campaign, DARC (Defund Atlanta Police Department, Refund Communities) dissolved among accusations that the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) had tried to take over the campaign and use it (and its failure which they banked on) as a recruiting tool. The DSA’s plan was to allow the campaign to fail instead of criticizing it openly, with the hope that its failure would radicalize people into their organization. Commenting on this, a local communist wrote “the notion that working class Atlantans, people who live their entire lives in the trenches of the city’s class war, require a civics lesson to be radicalized is self-evidently chauvinistic.” (6)

The Campaign in the Weelaunee Forest

Parallel to the campaign against the city council and continuing after it had been defeated, a growing and mostly anonymous group of people calling themselves “forest defenders” were ramping up their activity. Some engaged in tree-sits in the forest, others established gardens or engaged in mutual aid projects and free concerts, and others routinely sabotaged construction and surveying equipment preparing the forest for the project.(7)

At one point members of the Muscogee (Creek) tribe from Oklahoma, who lived in the South Forest before being expelled during the 1820’s, returned to the forest, conducted a stomp dance ceremony and shared the forest’s pre-colonial name: Weelaunee.

Several times, crews hired by Ryan Milsap to start demolishing the forest ahead of official permitting were driven out after direct confrontation by forest defenders. Outside the forest, protests against contractors, politicians and business-people involved in the project routinely escalated to vandalism and provoked repression from the police. In one case, a protest in East Atlanta Village was attacked by cops as it was ending, but the heavy-handed tactics of the police resulted in all 17 arrests being dismissed and thousands in restitution paid to those targeted. One of the general contractors of the project, Reeves + Young, dropped out after another direct protest at their officers and after several of their vehicles were sabotaged in the forest. It should be noted that not all interactions between construction workers and the forest defenders were hostile – when crews from the local power company showed up to do maintenance on a line in the forest, they worked around a garden that forest defenders had planted instead of destroying it.

Throughout late 2021 and 2022 this back and forth continued, with coordinated Weeks of Action bringing hundreds of people into the forest and a fluctuating smaller body of activists building and defending the forest in the interim.

Raids and the Murder of Tortuguita

Different police agencies routinely entered the forest and raided it repeatedly. Last May, following a Week of Action, cops came into the forest and smashed up a lot of protest infrastructure that was on the ground. Activists retreated to the trees, continued confronting work crews and burning equipment that was left unguarded at night. A statement issued after one of these incidents read “if you build it we will burn it.” In December of last year another raid resulted in the destruction of more shelters and 6 people were arrested and charged with ‘domestic terrorism.’

On 18 January 2023, a final raid into the forest by officers from the Georgia State Highway Patrol and numerous other police agencies attacked the forest with guns drawn. During the raid a forest defender sitting under a tarp refused orders to get up and leave, and the cops shot em several times at close range, claiming self defense. Eir name was Manuel Paez Teran (nicknamed Tortuguita or Tort), an indigenous anarchist from Venezuela, and ey’d been living in the forest for almost a year helping to coordinate its supply and defense. The cop story, that Tort had fired first from under the tarp and wounded an officer, began to unravel quickly. On body camera footage released weeks later an officer can be heard saying ‘you fucked your own officer up?’ after the shots, implying that the officer who was wounded was shot by his own people. Tort’s autopsy showed bullet wounds through the palms of eir hands, a story more consistent with an encounter killing than a firefight.(8)

Today

The movement is mostly evicted from the forest for now, and initial tree clearing has begun. The murder of Tortuguita, however, has dramatically raised the temperature of the struggle. The City council has already started walking back some of their plans for Cop City, and support for the movement and criticism of Mayor Dickens for being involved in it, has swelled. It’s also important to remember that without the resistance the whole forest would be gone and Cop City would be half-built already.

For Rayshard Brooks, for Tortuguita, and for victims of poverty and police violence in Atlanta whose names we know and those we don’t, we say Stop Cop City.

NOTES:
(1) Cde. KM Cascia “The White Left is Building Cop City” March 2, 2023.
(2) Greyhound, “On the Tragic Death of Secoriea Turner” July 2020.
(3) Alexandra Sternlicht, “Over 4,400 Arrests, 62,000 National Guard Troops Deployed: George Floyd Protests By The Numbers”.
(4) Crimethinc, “The City in the Forest: Reinventing Resistance for an Age of Climate Crisis and Police Militarization” Crimethinc, April 11, 2022. Background for the struggle aginst Cop City comes from this zine unless otherwise noted.
(5) Cascia, “The White Left Is Building Cop City”
(6) Ibid.
(7) Crimethinc, “The Forest in the City: Two Years of Forest Defense in Atlanta, Georgia” February 22, 2023. All info in this section comes from this zine unless otherwise noted.
(8) Alex Binder, “Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Terán’s Independent Autopsy Report Released at Press Conference” March 13, 2023.

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[Police Brutality] [Black Lives Matter] [ULK Issue 77]
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Why Police can NOT Be Reformed

This month we seen police in Minneapolis break into Amir Locke’s home and murder him. This came after the public was placated by the conviction of former pig Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd.

Most of the protest we seen for ‘defund the police’ ended after the George Floyd incident. It is uncertain if the reason for that is that the public think they won a victory just because the injustice system sacrificed one of their own in convicting Derek Chauvin or if the arrest of John Johnson, the leader of NFAC, played its part in the end of protests.

What is certain is that police can not be reformed because police are the problem in america. More likely than not the evil injustice system will release Derek Chauvin on appeal when everyone has forgot and the spotlight is off. We seen Kim Potter get sentenced for 2 years this week because some of the public pressure is off against the police. While the Kim Potter incident seemed accidental and she showed some remorse for her murder two things were never mentioned.

1st that police murder would have never happened if the pigs were not stopping someone and harassing him in the first place, therefore the police were the problem that led to Kim Potter killing an innocent man.

2nd if anyone of us did this accidental shooting and showed real remorse we would get life in prison and denied any chance of justice in appeals court no matter how competent a defense we receive in trial from our public defender (pretender).

Now the protest in the streets are silent and the evil police are back to their same old tricks. Falsifying crime statistics to scare the public into giving them more money. Money that should be going to schools, and infrastructure, housing, community building rather than to evil pigs that only scare people with false crime needs and incarcerate our fathers, our kids. Police are a plague on society and the ONLY way to fix what is wrong in this country is to defund the police and close our prisons. Such a radical reversal is hard to comprehend, it takes actual work and sacrifice.

We all know disgusting people that we do not want around. It is easy to use police to get rid of disgusting people, thus creating the monster of incarceration that we have now. To build community and healing takes work and sacrifice. To really create lasting change requires independent institutions of, by, and for the proletariat. We must unite together against disgusting people who have lost their way and show them a better way. At all cost the police can not be used as a remedy. The trail blazers of community building most likely will have to operate at a deficit initially until results can be proven, but rest assured any result is better than the ineffectual prisons we have now.

We need to form real community based volunteer groups to patrol our streets and intervene with ill behavior. Punishment is never the answer. We can appropriate public spaces as necessary because public property does NOT belong to the government, it rightfully belongs to the People. To truly fix America we have to defund the police at all cost. Stop being afraid of crime. Solutions to problems will arise naturally. One thing is clear, the government we have now is not for the people, By the people, or of the people. Police have become an elite ruling class they do whatever, whenever they want. That is why reform will never work.

In Solidarity

MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrades conclusion that reform will not work. And echo the need for a strategy of building proletarian-led institutions of the oppressed instead. The “defund” rhetoric seems very closely aligned to this mission, yet in practice seems to have led to more discussions about budgets, i.e. reformism. And of course, President Biden, has just taken it to call for more funding for police.

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[Gender] [Police Brutality] [California] [ULK Issue 77]
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Mad Machismo: Gender and Homicide

I can’t believe I am going to defend Curtis Reeves but if there is something I hate more than police it is capitalistic patriarchy, or mad masculinity, or what I call toxic testosterone. This is how capitalism rewards aggression.

We see it all the time in society. If a man is over 6 feet tall, he is almost guaranteed a management position in any workplace while more qualified workers are passed by. Or how it can be dangerous to attend a football game because of aggressive fans who can easily become violent. It is that the rewards of a capitalist culture go to those who are willing to fight the hardest.

The fact that an elderly man can not even attend a movie without being bullied by some mad man is evidence that capitalism does not work for human relations. Curtis Reeves asked Chad Oulson to be respectful and Chad Oulson became aggressive and violent because that is all he knows.

Chad Oulson probably thought he could get away with being a bully because he was bigger and much younger than Curtis Reeves. Chad Oulson thought it was OK to be violent and hit an old man because who is going to challenge a big man full of mad machismo? But this time karma finally caught up with Mr. Oulson and his pretty wife. Kurtis Reeves had the great equalizer, a gun. Curtis Reeves did what the rest of us could not get away with. Because Reeves was a police captain he could kill Chad Oulson with impunity, and in my mind, the jury was correct to acquit Reeves because the rest of us hate bullies too.

Another thing I think is relevant is an incident that occurred in early February. Two boys were fighting in the mall, 1 black and 1 white. The mall police intervened. They tackled the black boy to the ground violently and handcuffed him while the white boy only sat on a bench. Everyone on the news displayed this as a example of police racism but that is not what I seen. What I seen is 2 police officers, 1 man and 1 woman intervene in the fight. The man police officer tackled the black boy violently while the white woman police officer tackled the white boy to the bench and then backed off at the first sign of compliance. It should be noted that both boys were compliant after the police intervened in the fight. I do not know if the male officer who tackled the black boy is a racist or not, but what I do know is that the male officer had way too much toxic testosterone flowing in his veins. Where it is obvious the woman officer only used as much force as was necessary to stop the fight, the male officer clearly wanted to hurt someone. What I seen is patriarchy culture. Male police officer full of mad machismo on a mission to hurt as many people as he can, full of violence and aggression with a license to do whatever he wants with impunity. Honestly, if racism is the tool that is used to take that pig down then I will support that approach by whatever means necessary.

I see the capitalist patriarchy here in prison everyday. CDCR policy is if I am outside and 6 feet away from anyone a face mask is not required. However, that policy does not stop mad officers from telling me to put my mask on. These crazy pigs full of mad machismo mask check me all the time, not because it is policy or safety, in fact, it is contrary to CDCR policy. The crazy pigs mask check me only because they want to display dominance and control over another human being. The little bit of dominant feeling the pigs get from making me bow to their will makes them feel like a bigger man than they are.

The male officers that mask check me, only so they can feel a little bit of dominance, learned that sick behavior from American culture that rewards it; a disgusting capitalist culture that teaches patriarchy and rewards toxic testosterone allows these sick officers to challenge me while they have the upper hand. I am a defenseless prisoner, while they are a gang with weapons. The mask check is contrary to CDCR policy that clearly states if I am outside a mask is not required. The mask check is nothing more than a testosterone challenge. Mad masculinity or what the South Americans call machismo.

Who is the bigger man? The defenseless prisoner or the gang of officers carrying weapons? This sick culture that rewards the aggression devastates so many.

Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: I recently heard a well-known fascist arguing for more violence to defend honor, that our society has become too soft without it. This same fascist is infamous for abusing his ex-wife. We agree with the author above that machismo, especially over one’s right to text during a movie, is a toxic result of the patriarchy. It is not clear from the information available that Reeves’ quickness to pull the trigger didn’t stem from the same machismo. Either way, we can agree that the patriarchy led to Oulson’s death.

However, patriarchy kills more people through violence between romantic partners and former partners. A recent gruesome story hit the news of an ex-boyfriend who broke in and tortured and killed his ex-girlfriend’s now husband.

While the percentage of homicides in the United $tates from gang-related violence is around 10%(1), the percent from intimate partners is about 20%.(2) The percent of wimmin victims of murder by intimate partners is about 40%. Yet there is a war on gangs, but no war on patriarchy being led by those in power. The war on gangs, like the war on drugs, is motivated by a project to control the internal semi-colonies of the United $tates.

As many of our imprisoned readers will recognize, it is much easier to get people to lash out in violence against those with no real power over petty things than to stand up against power over real grievances. It is not just white Amerikan movie-goers, it is the oppressed as well who fall prey to the machismo, the petty individualism, and the violence of Amerikan culture. We are not pacifists, we advocate the use of all tools that can be effective at ending needless violence and murder. After imperialism, patriarchy is the next power structure that must fall to reach our goal. In the exploiter countries, we see the violence of the patriarchy more strongly, where the violence of imperialism is less. Join us in standing up for fights that really matter.

Note:
1. MYTH: Gangs are responsible for most U.S. homicides, GVPedia (Gun Violence Research)
2. Cooper & Smith, 2011, United States Department of Justice.

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[Police Brutality] [Drugs] [Abuse] [Pasquotank Correctional Institution] [Granville Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 77]
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Will prisoners' iPads feature apps that record police brutality?

Today at Polk Correction Institution the prep-team beat a young man in full restraints named Mr. Fox as he screamed for help during a shake-down: video surveillance was not provided.

15 March 2021, a few weeks before the killing of Andrew Brown by Pasquotank Sheriff’s Department, I was maced, tased, beat, and nearly killed by almost 20 Pasquotank C.O.s. The beating occurred in 6 different locations in the building including 3 elevators. I received several life lasting injuries to the head, face, and mouth from being punched and kicked over a hundred times while laying flat on the ground on my stomach and/or side. A chunk of meat was ripped out of my shoulder from being dragged over 50 ft. I was choked while beaten til they thought and asked one another if I was dead.

Another official cut my thumb with a switch blade and I received several other injuries that medical refused to treat or document. The officers said, “they’ll be back to beat me every chance they get and that I better not eat.”

I was emergency shipped, and 3 hours later pictures were taken of my injuries when I arrived at Polk Correctional Institution (High-Risk-Security).

Pasquotank Prison Officials deny to have ever touched me and claim their innocence while not even bothering to explain how my injuries were sustained. The disciplinary officer found that the video footage of the incident had been tampered with and cut-short.

18 October 2021, all mail for North Carolina prisoners will be received at TextBehind in Phoenix, MD with long time promises of iPads in the future. Should department of public safety provide proper video surveillance for safety before iPads for profit and entertainment? Surveillance is critical to maintain and monitor unwanted violence.

Relief in the claim I’ve filed against Pasquotank Correctional Institution include that the courts enforce a policy with an injunction ordering hand-held cameras be used when escorting offenders or using force in blind spots.

Unfortunately, body-cams in prison make it harder for guards to smuggle contraband or have relations which would decrease the rate of violence from drug related issues allowing more prisoners to focus on rehabilitation and money management.

With this we would ask for higher pay rates to support our families and conjugal visits for married couples.

Prayers out for the family of Andrew Brown and the victims of police brutality.

For a full report of Pasquotank Prison Incident, see: “Two Letters From North Carolina Prisons Make the Same Demands 45 Years Apart.


MIM(Prisons) adds: In the last issue of Under Lock & Key one of our comrades addressed the use of tablets to pacify and surveil the oppressed in A Strategic Objective to Disrupt and Surveil the Communication Between Prisoners and Our Loved Ones. The article above connects this to the many campaigns prisoners have waged to get cameras in prisons so that there is documentation of the regular abuse and illegal happenings that go on inside.

In 2014, comrades in North Carolina won a lawsuit to [require staff of NCPDS to record with video cameras any use of force incidents]((https://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/north-carolina-prisoners-preliminary-victory-on-use-of-force-lawsuit/). This suit however, left it up to the pigs to determine when cameras need to be used. As AK47 asks, if the state is to invest more money in technology, shouldn’t it be on this important task of preventing physical abuse and drug trafficking, both of which leads to the loss of humyn lives?

We can also take lessons from the implementation of universal cameras, including audio recording, in California which brought up concerns of excessive monitoring of prisoners, including in counseling and rehabilitation programs. Just last year, another lawsuit in California brought a federal court order requiring body cameras in Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in California, resulting in passive protests from staff in the form of not running programs for prisoners.

Modern surveillance and communication technology can be used for good and for bad, for the interests of the oppressed or the interests of the oppressor. The interests of the oppressed lie in holding the state accountable for the rampant abuse and drug dealing its employees commit every day, while being able to maintain connections to society, engaging in rehabilitation programs where they can speak freely and openly. The interests of the state lie in pacifying the population with pop culture media and surveilling the communication of those who cannot be pacified.

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