The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? help out
[Political Repression] [Legal] [U.S. Penitentiary Florence] [Colorado] [ULK Issue 9]
expand

Fighting the Real Gangs with Paperwork

I got a hold of your March 2009 No 7 issue. It was the first time I ever saw a MIM(Prisons)'s Under Lock & Key newsletter. One of your articles really reached out to me, about the administration being the real gang. I’m in the feds at USP Florence. I’m currently going through the administrative remedy process for 2 reasons. #1 is my case manager not doing his job. I was supposed to be out February 12th but my case manager has messed my paperwork up so bad, and on more than one occasion, so that I won’t be out until May 14th. The only reason I’m even getting out in May is because my family on the street applied pressure to the proper offices. And my derelict case manager doesn’t even have so much as a reprimand in his file. Just to give you an example of his shoddy work, check this: I’m from Washington DC, and when Mr. Pacheko presented me with my initial release papers they were for an address in Southern California.

The second grievance I’m filing is in relation to a shakedown. I’m currently in SHU on admin-seg. The captain and riot squad came and took everybody to the rec cage area and made us all strip and spread eagle. This took place on 3-25-09 when the temp was below 30 degrees. This strip search was in direct violation of FBOP program statement 5521.04, the 6th circuit ruling in Cornwell v. Dahlberg, and the 4th amendment to the US Constitution. Since I’m in SHU I have to wait for a member of my unit team to respond to get administrative remedies. Since I filed the first remedy, nobody from my unit team has been to see me. Effectively they are killing my ability to file anything further.

To any prisoner anywhere who reads this, I want you to know that prison guards and administrators don’t care if you have a violent outburst to staff misconduct. That’s exactly what they want you to do. So then they can gas you, assault you, and then write you an incident report. The only things these people care about is filing paperwork. I’ve been put out of two institutions for “disrupting the orderly running of the institution” because I file lots of paperwork on behalf of myself and others. Remember, if you do something wrong they write you up. So you have to write them back up.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We agree with this comrade that it's important we use the legal system to fight the abuses of the criminal injustice system. When you take on the system you can also use the pages of Under Lock and Key to expose the injustice and publicize your battles.

chain
[Political Repression] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 7]
expand

Peace in the Streets

street orgs in revolutionary unityFor our Peace Issue, MIM(Prisons) had solicited a number of allies who are doing work for peace among the lumpen on the streets. Though the Peace Issue is done, our pages remain open to those who are doing such work, as we want to build as many connections as we can between what is going on in the streets and behind prison walls. This article will make some of those connections in a mostly historical way. Similar stories can be told about the largest street organizations based in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and beyond. And as we'll see, the use of prisons to isolate the peace makers is having a very real impact on efforts in oppressed communities.

Chicago

The Chicago story could start in the late 1960's with Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party, who was shot in his sleep by the FBI for attempting to unite street and youth organizations under a revolutionary banner of the original "rainbow coalition." While some legacies of that work remain, COINTELPRO was quite effective in preventing thousands of lumpen youth from joining the anti-imperialist United Front. During the same period, other street organizations were joining a coalition with city and business leaders in Chicago. The Conservative Vice Lords (CVL) were one of these groups who became a significant force for building Black businesses and serving the lumpen youth of the community. Despite their turn from petty crime and street fighting to a positive community organization, their attempts to work with the pigs and the business establishment failed again and again. Eventually their leaders were targeted for frame ups and put in prison like the revolutionary Panthers, despite a program that never attempted anything but integration into mainstream capitalist society. Their differences with the Panthers seemed to be based on misunderstandings of the Panther strategy (1), which others have suggested were a result of COINTELPRO misinformation campaigns.

In the end the CVL leadership saw that the next generation was coming up looking to undo everything they had built. And sure enough the streets of Chicago succumbed to more violence and chemical warfare following the destruction of the Panthers and efforts like those of CVL. The next generation produced Larry Hoover who also came around from the criminal mentality to create institutions like "Save the Children," support legal Black business development and register thousands of people to vote. After being imprisoned, Hoover's Gangster Disciples (GDs) hosted perhaps the largest peace summit in u$ lumpen history in Chicago in 1993. After his 13th parole denial Hoover released a statement in which he said things such as:

Drugs are our enemy, destroying many of us with the lure of profit, more of us with addiction, and still more with the crime that results; we must join our voices with those across the land, of whites and blacks, churchgoers and convicts, gays and straights - all who share the purpose of taking the profit out of drugs and ending the slaughter made easy by guns. (2)

And this was not just talk, as the GD's had demonstrated their ability to achieve such goals. The biggest immediate threat to the imperialist establishment that the lumpen can make is to end the meaningless destruction of oppressed youth life while destroying the profits from chemical warfare thru imperialist-run drug cartels. The state responded by sending Hoover to the federal supermax prison ADX in Colorado for conspiracy charges to deal drugs.

New York

In New York City the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation is a well-documented (if not always accurately) example of the modern repression of progressive mass organizations of lumpen youth. With constant targeting by police, most of the local leadership ended up in prison. The main architect behind the Nation's growth in New York, King Blood, has spent 12 years in complete isolation. King Tone, who was the popular spokespersyn for the Nation in NYC during their politicization in the mid-1990's has also been in prison since those tumultuous years. Their pro-Puerto Rican community organizing made them greater targets than they had been as a street gang engaged in criminal activities. Statements like,

"We are not AMERICAN, we are one of 22 million Puerto Ricans who are victims of Americanism... We are Revolutionary Nationalists but we are remembered as proletarian internationalists, heroic fighters in the struggle against oppression and imperialism." (3)

led one pig to state,

There's no way we're gonna let a bunch of gang-bangers think they're the Panthers or the Young Lords.

As more Kings & Queens went to prison, they took their goals with them and began to build educational programs and promote peace within the new gang units that were popping up at the time. MIM's Free Books to Prisoners Program helped comrades in New Jersey build a library of thousands of books where Kings were not just teaching other Kings, but also members of the United Blood Nation and others to read. UBN, like the New York ALKQN, was formed within the New York prison system. And like King Blood, one of UBN's co-founders, is in a control unit for his organizing, just recently getting his sentence there extended to 2021 by the NYSDOCS; greatly limiting his contact with the outside world. He reports that extensive COINTELPRO tactics were used against them in conjunction with the ALKQN.

Today the ALKQN is clear that none of its senior leadership is involved in any illegal activities and the leadership continues to define it as an organization for the betterment of the community and the self-determination of oppressed nations. As with all of the mass organizations discussed here, whose popularity has exploded, often beyond the influence of its founders, there are many who claim the flags that play into government efforts to dirty their names.

Los Angeles

Perhaps the most well-known peace effort came in Los Angeles around the time of the Rodney King verdicts and the uprising that followed. The state responded swiftly when Bloods & Crips came together in the streets. Not to mention that the unity in action also included a majority of Mexicans and a significant proportion of white participants.

As discussed in the article We Want Peace! They want Security. the unity of the oppressed is a response to the unity of the oppressor against them. Therefore, when the Panthers were destroyed, the Crips came up from a history of Black street organizations that formed to protect themselves from white violence. Eventually, other Black groups united under the Blood flag to protect themselves from the Crips.

When these groups came together for peace in the early '90's, once again we saw the targeting of leaders of the oppressed by the state. Just to mention some of the most high profile attacks, Crip leader Sanyika Shakur (aka Monster) who had taken up Black Nationalism was sent to a Security Housing Unit (SHU). Imprisoned Black Liberation fighter Mutulu Shakur had worked from a distance to develop the Thug Life code promoted at the peace meetings by his step-son Tupac. Federal Bureau of Prisons papers document that Mutulu Shakur was moved to the original control unit in Marion because he was effectively organizing young Black prisoners. The warden of Lewisburg, in recommending his transfer, wrote the following: "I firmly believe Shakur needs the controls of Marion, as he appears to manipulate the entire system. This shrewd behavior coupled with his outside contacts and influence over the younger Black element will have adverse affects on the mission." (4) Mutulu continues to be isolated in the newer federal supermax prison, ADX, while Tupac was assassinated following his work around the peace treaty.

Over a decade later, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent Tookie Williams to be executed because he had dedicated his books to leaders in the Black Liberation struggle. A Crip co-founder, Tookie spent many years in prison writing children's books to counter the anti-people activities of street organizations, while drafting up peace protocol for those who were involved in the gang wars. He was a shining example of rehabilitation (no thanks to the state), which the CDCR added to its name and allegedly to its mission around the same time.

The state's success led to the bloodiest years the California ghettos, barrios and prisons have seen. Those who could do something to stop all the violence were part of the first large scale experimentation in long-term isolated captivity of humyn beings (or were dead). In this context, the leadership became more concentrated within the prison system, where the state had already begun dividing the system up along the lines of Blacks, whites, northern and southern Mexicans. These became the battle lines for the years of "race wars" that continue to this day.

One of the most violent battles took place in Pelican Bay State Prison in 2001. Prisoners responded by calling on leaders representing each group, who were being held in SHU, to negotiate a truce. (5) This truce seemed to be on the road to success when the CDCR's Institutional Gang Investigation unit intervened, along with others in the department, to carry out a negative propaganda campaign, similar to what has happened every time prisoners have tried to come together in peace. (see We Want Peace! They want Security.)

As one prisoner explained what happened,

I have yet to hear of any of this, however, I did hear about the 2001 attempted peace treaty. Which of course was purposely sabotaged by CDC. The very last thing these bastards (CDC) wants is peace amongst the races here in prison. It is not in the material interest of the white middle class who work for CDC to have this violence come to an end. Any time an institution goes on lock down, prison officials automatically get what's called "Hazard Pay" which doubles their pay. So for every violent incident they (CDC) can provoke, they stand to profit from it.

And it's not only the CDC that stands to profit. Other outside organizations are also profiting from what the CDC has created. Organizations such as the Sheriffs department and other police agencies, which of course are staffed with middle class white amerikans. Every time an incident from in here spills out into our occupied communities, it is these organizations that come in and lock up everyone in sight, not to mention harass, beat and even murder us.

According to those involved in the 2001 peace talks, the failure stemmed from a lack of community support. This allowed the pigs to spread the rumors and squash the organizing efforts. This is why it is crucial to develop links between the peace efforts on the street and behind bars.

Only with growing mass support, inside and outside prisons, will the CDCR agree to allow for a peace process. That is why MIM(Prisons) is promoting the petition initiated in 2006 to restart the process. (6) As one veteran leader of the California prison movement said in an interview regarding the Pelican Bay Peace Summit,

A peace accord, or a peace summit itself. If that's real. Then I wanna bet it's real in a sense that both your politically motivated SHU prisoners and your regular gang member- motivated prisoners have both come to the realization that they are both doomed to hell! No matter how many differences exist between them, that they are united in the fact that they are doomed prisoners. And that's the only way that they're going to get that condemnation off of them, is if they join forces to change the policies that allows them to live in the naked abyss. And that means that they would have to work together. And in order to work together they would first have to arrange a successful peace summit. So that they could combine forces. Now I kinda think that that's a natural course of events. That they would come to that conclusion, whether they wanted to or not, the conditions are gonna force them to come to those conclusions.

...I know that a peace summit has to be a prelude to something more significant. And that something more significant has to be what we always fought for, you know what I'm saying, the humyn rights of all prisoners in general, regardless of what clique or what race they're from.

The story we see over and over again is that state attacks on lumpen organizations are superficial as long as the organization is engaged in activities murdering and poisoning their own people. It is only when these groups begin to help their communities that they are crushed by the state.

COINTELPRO continues its misinformation campaigns against lumpen organizations today and historically through the mainstream media like National Geographic and BET who have jumped on the sensationalized gang life bandwagon. They pretend to investigate both sides of the story while painting all of these organizations as evil. Part of this is a continued campaign against the Black Panthers almost four decades after they were effectively neutralized. Organizers today need to be prepared for the attacks by representatives of the State who claim they want peace, but in reality only want peaceful submission to imperialist profit.

notes:
(1) Dawley, David. A Nation of Lords: The Autobiography of the Vice Lords. Waveland Press, 1993. 2nd edition (orig. 1973).
On p.112, the Vice Lords claim that the Panthers tried to convince all of the street organizations to go on a rampage burning the city down. This would have been contrary to the consistent line and strategy of Fred Hampton and Huey Newton. The Vice Lords do admit to breaking up underground organizing in response to the assassination of MLK as part of their partnership with Chicago business interests. Yet, still the establishment never came thru with their end of the deal of providing loans and other business development support.
(2) Hayden, Tom. Street Wars. The New Press, 2004. p. 284.
(3) Brotherton, David C. & Luis Barrios. The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation. Columbia University Press, 2004. p. 298.
(4) http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~kastor/walking-steel-95/ws-florence.html
(5) Support Pelican Bay Peace Process
(6) for more info on this campaign and petition click here

chain
[Theory] [Political Repression] [ULK Issue 7]
expand

We Want Peace! They Want Security.

The main purpose of issue 7 of Under Lock & Key is to show who wants peace and who does not. We will also focus on our long-held line that prisoners accomplish nothing by lashing out and fighting each other or prison staff. Every prison that censors this newsletter is acknowledging that peace among prisoners is contrary to their goal of so-called "security," further substantiating our thesis presented below.

Time has proved . . . that blind deference to correctional officials does no real service to them. Judicial concern with procedural regularity has a direct bearing upon the maintenance of institutional order; the orderly care with which decisions are made by the prison authority is intimately related to the level of respect with which prisoners regard that authority.

There is nothing more corrosive to the fabric of a public institution such as a prison than a feeling among those whom it contains that they are being treated unfairly." Palmigiano v. Baxter, 487 F.2d 1280, 1283 (CA1 1973). As THE CHIEF JUSTICE noted in Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. at 408 U. S. 484, "fair treatment . . . will enhance the chance of rehabilitation by avoiding reactions to arbitrariness.
-dissenting opinion from Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974)

Our track record speaks for itself. At least dozens of prisoners and former prisoners have given up lives that once included physical attacks on cops, and often fights with other people as well, after taking up the anti-imperialist struggle through MIM. Unfortunately, our data is a little skewed since we can only speak for prisoners who we are in contact with. It is up to an ambitious researcher to demonstrate statistically that those involved in anti-imperialism are less violent than those who aren't (or more so as the prison mail rooms across the country claim is the case).

In the meantime, there are plenty of studies showing how all sorts of educational and family programs help reduce violence and anti-social behavior. (1) Unfortunately, in a system focused on punishment and ostracizing groups of people, these programs are used to manipulate rather than rehabilitate. U$ prisons that do offer these programs do so in an effort to tempt prisoners with a carrot. By taking this individualist approach they are not actually investing in peace or progress. When priorities change and a prisoner loses his job or can no longer see his loved one, then there is no longer the incentive to be peaceful. In contrast, a dedication to the struggle for a world without oppression cannot be taken away by future prison administrators.

Facts:Peace Sign

  1. In decades of work the Maoist Internationalist Movement has never broken bourgeois laws. In years of work, neither has MIM(Prisons).

  2. Members of MIM and members of MIM(Prisons) have always been forbidden from breaking the law.

  3. MIM literature has never promoted breaking the law or taking up arms against the united states government, or any local government or organization, for that matter.

  4. Every issue of Under Lock & Key, the newsletter of MIM(Prisons), encourages prisoners to obey the laws and to avoid physical conflicts.

  5. Anecdotal experience provides evidence of a pattern of reduced violence among prisoners who become involved in MIM-led educational programs and/or organizational campaigns.

Despite the facts listed above, our programs and materials are routinely denied to prisoners all across the united $tates. In late 2007, we launched our website where we have since recorded 509 incidents of censorship. Most of those are censoring MIM(Prisons). Of them, 11 cite "STG" or "Security Threat Group", 34 cite "security" in general, 14 cite a threat of "violence," and 26 cite our threat to the "law" as the reason they are censored. In addition, 164 took place in California, where all MIM mail was banned because it allegedly "advocates seizing public power through armed struggle and overturning prison administrations 'by stripping them of control.'" (2) While the recent legal struggles of one comrade in California brought to light a document overturning this ban, it continues to be applied in many of the prisons where MIM(Prisons) used to have a large readership. Most of the rest of the incidents of censorship fall into the various categories of "unacceptable", "disallowed", "unauthorized", "refused" or there was just no reason given whatsoever.

Security Threat Group (STG) is the buzz word developed in the 1990's to apply to a range of street and political organizations. Many so-called "correctional professionals" claim MIM(Prisons) is an STG. But exactly what are we a threat to the security of? Copying the language of precedent setting case law, it is often phrased as being "detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution or [...] it might facilitate criminal activity.") The problem with the phrasing in this court decision is that many prisons interpret that to mean that if you tell prisoners to file complaints, write the press, join organizations or build lawsuits in response to torture, physical abuse, lack of medical care, censorship, etc. then you are threatening the "good order or discipline of the institution." (THORNBURGH v. ABBOTT, 490 U.S. 401 (1989)

Reviews of this and other case law demonstrate that under capitalism in amerika, prisoners actually do have rights and the above interpretation is a violation of them. The real meaning of this law should be to allow prison administrators to censor materials that promote real and immediate threats to safety and security, such as plans to attack someone else in the prison or to smuggle in weapons. The most recent case condemning prisoncrats for preventing prisoners from receiving materials that promote legal resistance was just last year when a comrade in Wisconsin won his suit in federal court. (3)

In some cases the prison administration has interpreted the law the same way we do, but still claims we violate it by posing an immediate threat to safety and security. The California ban letter cited above is one example of this. In these cases we also disagree to the point of getting the bourgeois courts involved.

The October 2006 memo from CDCR Director Scott Kernan banning MIM publications (supposedly not all our mail) has completely inaccurate statements in it, such as the one quoted above. If it were possible to demonstrate that MIM promoted violence in prisons or breaking the law without lying, one of the state lawyers would have done it by now. Their favorite defense in many states is to hide behind prison walls, rather than lie like Scott Kernan did. That is why state officials need to be publicly accountable in any society claiming democracy in any form.

From the CO's up to the director, they play the text book role of the bureaucrat attempting to defend their corrupt institution, and by proxy their own lucrative jobs. We admit to being a threat to the jobs of corrupt officials and abusive institutions, as any conscious and active citizen should be.

In this issue you'll read stories of foiled peace plans, violent set-ups and hazard pay for CO's. The various unions representing so-called peace officers are some of the strongest in the country and their main leverage tool is persynal safety. They say, "we're putting our lives at stake to protect your shit, you better pay us good." Hence the built in motivation for more violence, more riots, more "validated" gang members and more maximum security and supermax prisons. It all means more money in their pockets.

More generally, amerikans as a whole benefit from their positions of power over the oppressed. Middle class amerikan citizens benefit from being members of the group of people who can be cops or get similar jobs as oppressors in the criminal injustice system, and they benefit from the services the cops provide in maintaining lines between social groups. So it is not just an individualist motivation for higher pay, it is also a national consciousness that is necessary to create the us vs. them mentality necessary to run prisons the way they do in the united $tates. One example of this consciousness came up during the Giuliani reign of terror in New York City in the 1990s, when the New York Times reported that most white residents were comfortable with the police behavior they saw, while nine out of ten Blacks felt that "the police often engaged in brutality against blacks." (4)

These national lines of us vs. them were created by the white settlers and is deep in that history of land grab and slave trading. Over time this forces the oppressed to see the world in a similarly divided way, leaving the oppressors with two choices: they can turn around and use it as a justification for their own brutality, or they can de-escalate the contradiction. Our analysis of imperialism and the principal contradiction predicts that amerikans cannot de-escalate the contradiction, and so far we've been proven right. And that is why u$ prisons have become a perversely violent microcosm of amerikan society.

While we believe that in general cops and CO's have a vested interest in opposing our efforts to promote peace, we are also acting in United Front with those employed by the vast u$ criminal justice system who are more interested in making it home to their family each night than getting hazard pay and new high tech toys to play with. This is unlikely in places like California where history has already demonstrated what happens to prison staff who speak against these interests. On a related note, MIM(Prisons) does not threaten people's lives, berate people into suicide, or carry out assassinations.

Many prison staff claim MIM(Prisons) is a threat because we encourage prisoners to organize. We look to history again, and help quell those fears by taking a look at two of the greatest examples of prisoners organizing themselves. In the Attica rebellion in 1971, no CO's were killed until the National Guard came in and shot 11 employees dead, along with 29 prisoners. Up until that point the prisoners of Attica had organized a democratically run society within the prison walls, including such things as their own food and medical services, while negotiating with the state on behalf of all prisoners. Guards were given superior treatment the whole time.

A couple years later prisoners in Walpole were left to run the prison on their own when the guard union went on strike. They set up similar services as the prisoners in Attica, and actually increased the efficiency of the operating of the prison with the guards and bureaucrats out of the way. This shows that as early as the early 1970's prison guards were paid high wages for doing nothing. Since then the prison population has increased 8-fold, fattening the labor aristocracy with high paying jobs along the way.

The prisoners peacefully functioning without overseers shocked the pigs, who then began to spread rumors about riots in Walpole. The riots never happened, and in fact there was an end to all violence and rape during the weeks while the prison guards were absent, and for some time to follow. This kind of rumor mongering is not unique to a particular group of mean-spirited CO's. Rather, they were representing the inherit self-interest of this class of people. In the last 15 to 20 years in California, they have succeeded in creating a constant atmosphere of disturbance and violence. Only the minority see their self-interest in peace, because it is a threat to their jobs as a class.

Unfortunately, we can expect much violence from the oppressors before we can expect an honest assessment of what is going on in these secretive dungeons. The people want peace now. Communities that are being occupied, imprisoned and bombed want an immediate end to violence.

Huey P. Newton said it is up to the oppressor whether meeting such demands of the oppressed happens in a peaceful way or a violent way. Fanon said violence is part of the development of a humynism and new consciousness among the people. Even if Fanon is right, it takes a lot to push the masses to the point of violence as Huey pointed out. This is obvious by the many more people who have spent many more days in peaceful submission than those who have not. Violent resistance from the people will only arise as it is necessitated by those who monopolize violence through their own power.

MIM(Prisons) only engages in and promotes legal means of combating injustice. When the prison staff represses every educational and legal outlet for prisoners to redress their complaints then it is clear what kind of strategies they are promoting. In those prisons, we predict there will be violence, and they cannot blame it on us because they have kept us out. This is similar to what we say about all struggles for justice around the world. We believe violence is necessary to end injustice because history has demonstrated that the oppressor never stops oppressing any other way. We do not want or promote violence, we are merely stating our conclusion from reading history. In every case of revolutionary war, it was up to the oppressor to decide whether violence was used or not. History shows that the same has been true in the prison rights movement; the struggle for prisoner rights has only become violent when the state initiated such violence.

Notes:

(1) "Since 1990, the literature has shown that prisoners who attend educational programs while they are incarcerated are less likely to return to prison following their release. Studies in several states have indicated that recidivism rates have declined where inmates have received an appropriate education. Furthermore, the right kind of educational program leads to less violence by inmates involved in the programs and a more positive prison environment." Journal of Correctional Education, v55 n4, p297-305, December 2004.

See also The Nation, March 4, 2005: "Studies have clearly shown that participants in prison education, vocation and work programs have recidivism rates 20-60 percent lower than those of nonparticipants. Another recent major study of prisoners found that participants in education programs were 29 percent less likely to end up back in prison, and that participants earned higher wages upon release."

(2) the full text of this letter is available on our website along with tons of other documents related to the California ban: https://www.prisoncensorship.info/campaigns/ca/ (if you're a California prisoner you've probably already seen it)

(3) Lorenzo Johnson v. Rick Raemisch, Daniel Westfield, and Michael Thurmer, Case No. 07-C-390-C US District Court Western District of Wisconsin
available soon on our archive page

(4) Hayden, Tom. Street Wars. The New Press, 2005. p. 108.

chain
[Political Repression] [Abuse] [Texas]
expand

Brutality in Texas Prison

My mail is being illegally withheld. I have to hold on to my mail and mail it out whenever I go by the mailbox myself. This is only when I'm taken out to the mail hall for reasons that suit the corrupt administration. The mailroom supervisor, Glenda F. Vandiver, gives my mail to the titular officers. The unit OID Jeffery W. Armstrong also works along with the administration and has told me this.

I've been beaten up four times since I sent those grievances out [to MIM last month]. I was beaten up on 11/17/08 by 2 titular officers, Hicks and Hopkins. I sustained a blackened left eye, swollen shut; swollen left cheekbone; knots and bruises all over my face; and cuts on my left upper chin. RN Mary Gribble saw all my invoices and refused to report it. OIG Armstrong sat face-to-face with me as I filled out a witness statement about the violent attack and beating. He told me the titular officers who attacked me are his true friends and that he's going to protect them, and not report what he saw. Sgt. Betty J. Myers, "Safe Prisons ACA Coordinator," refused to take photos of my face, but took photos of my back while I was fully dressed. They are conspiring and covering up a criminal assault. They're all working together to hide and conceal the criminal activity, and the cruel and unusual punishment they subject me to daily.

My food is being contaminated with a noxious chemical. An officer told me that every one of my food trays is being laced with windex or ammonia. The officer no longer works here; he told me this before he quit. The chemicals in this windex cause me to lose consciousness, pass out. I have excessive vehement vomiting, dizzy spells, migraine headaches, blurred vision, starvation. I am deprived of showers and recreation.

I have reported all of this to the following staff countless times, and these ranking officials call me "cry baby" or "nigger bitch" to name a few: Wardens Dawn E. Grounds, Devery W. Mooneyham, and Kenneth L. Dean; Capt. Richard Pillot, Lt. Donna S. Jennings, "Compliance Sgt." William E. Lyon, Sgt. Dan Griffin, Lt. Kurtis Pharr, Lt. Robert M. Presto, Lt. Oriando Flecha, Lt. Steven W. Schumacher, Stg. Steven L. Harris, Sgt. Morrison, Sgt. Michael Kluck, Sgt. William A. Burroughs, and Sgt. Brian Pollock. More over, they are the orchestrators and authors of all my problems: the death threats, beatings, starvation, deprivation of recreation, medical. The aforementioned employees are the very crooks who make it possible for the non-ranking staff to do all these terrible, inhumane, evil, unconstitutional things to me daily.

When anyone calls this unit, they all claim to "look into it" or "investigate." They're not going to "investigate" themselves; no one will. The Director of OIG, John Moriarty, and Executive Director Brad Livingston, and Chairperson of TDCJ Christina Melton Crain, and [TDCJ Administrative Review] Ombudsman Kathy Cleere can have me transferred if the right pressure is applied. I have a huge stack of grievances to prove that I've contacted every office in TDCJ all the way to the Executive Directors. I'm not being protected in any way, shape, form or fashion and therefore need transfer to a completely different prison unit in this system because this is cruel and unusual punishment.

chain
[Political Repression] [Abuse] [California] [ULK Issue 7]
expand

Who are the Real Gangs?

I have been accused of this gang allegation but actually it is the prison guards at the prison, especially ISU and IGI, who are a gang, always oppressing and beating people up at their desire. I’m not sure if you have heard about how ISU operates at this place. In an attempt to catch prisoners off guard when they’re about to search for contraband, they rush into buildings and go straight to specific cells with huge pepper spray canisters on hand. When they reach their target they first start emptying out their canisters at the occupants inside, then ask questions later.

Now, when they do these raids they’re not supposed to enter the cells, but wait until the prisoners themselves put their hands out through the food port to be handcuffed or get down prone on the floor. Then they can open the door and pull them out. (They are not supposed to even use their pepper spray cans unless somebody’s safety is at risk or in immediate danger but they do it anyway.) This is a CDC policy throughout California’s prison system but it’s not what they do at this prison.

Right here they just barge in and after beating down the prisoners and cuffing them up, they literally drag them out of the cell. Also, while they’re restraining them, they always yell out loud for everybody to hear “stay down, quit resisting!” when they’re not resisting, in an effort to excuse their excessive use of force.

Later on you can hear them bragging about their abusive actions or making fun of how the prisoners were screaming. Needless to say, at the time they file their reports they always omit the part where they barge into the cells and beat down the prisoners. This is exactly what happened to me and my cell mate at the time back in December 2007, but when I filed a formal complaint against ISU they shot me down saying I took too long, that I only had 15 days to file.

The fact is, I did take longer than 15 days. It was several months actually. However, the appeals coordinator has the discretion to accept a late filing on a showing of good cause. When I explained my reasons (fear of retaliation, among other things) they simply responded that my appeal had been reviewed by the chief deputy warden in accord with AB05/03, and further suggested that I “research this in the law library” knowing full well that prisoners in ASU do not have law library access unless they have a court ordered deadline. Just another form of oppression by higher ups…who is actually the gang in this picture?

But they want to cover up their wrongful acts by locking us away indefinitely, in spirit breaking lockup units until we parole, die or become snitches. The worst part of all is that the so-called gang allegation doesn’t even have to be proven at all. All they need is “some evidence,” under their own standards, which they often fabricate. Or like in my case, use someone else’s on somebody they want to get rid of for any reason. It’s a convenient tactic they have been using for many years and since it has given them results, it doesn’t seem like they will be changing their ways any time soon.

This article referenced in:
chain
[Political Repression] [Kinross Correctional Facility] [Michigan] [ULK Issue 6]
expand

Punitive transfers in Michigan

My transfer was the inevitable response of Kinross Correctional Facility's (KCF) administration to my aggressive pro-prisoner stance as an elected prisoner representative. Apparently, the KCF administration felt threatened by the performance of my duty, as a member of the Prisoner Benefit Fund (PBF) Committee, by addressing the removal and destruction of PBF purchased books from the KCF library by Librarian Debra Herbig and the theft of several large spools of cable and numerous cable junction boxes, intended for the upgrade of our cable TV system, by the head of maintenance.

I was not alone in this as my fellow prisoner rep and PBF Committee member was similarly transferred. Said transfers were retaliatory and punitive, as the prisons we were transferred to are notoriously rotten prisons. Moreover, the KCF administration did not want to deal with the other issues we raised, such as the flagrant exploitation of our labor power (we paraphrased the similar demand of the Attica State Prison rebellion), the horrifying conditions in KCFs segregation unit, which clearly constitute torture, and the purposed scheduling of our PBF fundraiser during the Ramadan fast.

chain
[Censorship] [Political Repression] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 4]
expand

SHU time for MIM lit

I'm writing regarding the 7/24/2008 rejection notice concerning my MIM publications. The claim for such action: "Inappropriate material for the correctional environment." There was no explanation in how my publication's were classified as inappropriate. I didn't receive the notice until four day's later, 7/28/08, so that I wouldn't have an opportunity to protest and appeal the rejection of my publications.

As of this moment, I've filed my informal complaint concerning the matter. Once I've received a response, the next step is laying the foundation for 42 U.S.C § 1983. The actions of this Hitler-style concentration camp is unacceptable!

Comrade, I've been locked down in the SHU since February 24, 2008, following the first rejection of my MIM publications on false allegations of organizing a riot! The length the Amerikans will go to silence the voice of an eminent revolution is unbelievable. The time is coming, they can't stop the unstoppable comrade!

[MIM(Prisons) also filed an administrative appeal to this censorship, and posted it, along with the censorship notification on our website. We encourage others to write in to support this comrade and protest the baseless censorship, using our letters as a model.]

chain
[Legal] [Political Repression] [New Mexico] [ULK Issue 4]
expand

Denial of mail and legal rights in New Mexico

This facility here is one of the most over controlled I've been in. You can receive no books, magazines, newspapers or periodicals from the outside. There is no educational material available. There is no mail allowed that has xeroxes, printed by ink jet, internet copies, pictures downloaded from the internet, laser-printer photographs, newspaper or magazine clippings, postcards, envelopes with XOXO, S.W.A.K. (sealed with a kiss) or write back soon, perfume smell or lipstick markings.

There is no access to a law library or legal materials here. I have had legal mail opened not in my presence and have even had legal mail taken because it contained information about how to fight the system a case law about the constitutional rights of prisoners from the Center for Constitutional Rights - a law firm out of New York. It also contained a book called "The Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook". When the contents were seen, the envelope was resealed and sent back.

I have saved and documented everything. I have written up a civil rights complaint against the jail, Aramark (a prison industry complex member) and 3 officers, but I am unable to file because they refuse to let me make the required copies or get a 6 month copy of my trust account which is required to file In Forma Papuperis.

Also I was helping and advising several other prisoners on how to file suit. I had them file grievances to exhaust the administrative remedies as required by the prison litigation reform act. The administration has caught on to what I'm doing and has refused to answer any of the grievances that match the three issues I am trying to take to court. They refuse to answer them because without proof of exhausting the administrative remedies process, they can not take issues to court.

chain
[National Oppression] [Political Repression] [Virginia]
expand

Letter of Exposure to COINTELPRO

The following letter is part of the exposure process of current COINTELPRO operations on behalf of the federal government against New Afrikan organizations and prisoners in particular. MIM(Prisons) can attest to these operations against a number of organizations and individuals. MIM(Prisons) has been similarly labeled a "Security Threat Group" in Virginia and our literature has not been allowed into Red Onion State Prison as a result. The author is one of countless prisoners who have been targeted for long-term isolation due to their political beliefs and affiliations in the united $tates.

MIM(Prisons) disagrees with the New Afrikan Black Panther Party's (NABPP) analysis of amerika and the principal contradiction, which is reflected in this letter. The author quotes Eldridge Cleaver to say that there is no difference between the white and Black movement in amerika. There is a serious difference in that the Black nation faces substantial oppression under imperialism, while whites fill the role of the oppressor. As true internationalists, the Black Panthers never took up racism. Their line on the amerikan class structure evolved over time, while they always upheld the need for self-determination of oppressed nations. At their best, Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver had come to understand the amerikan people as bought off allies of imperialism. This view later devolved into what the Panthers became, a reformist organization stuck in electoral politics.

As an organization that claims to apply the scientific analysis of dialectical materialism, MIM(Prisons) sees the NABPP line on the amerikan class structure as idealist and therefore revisionist. The only evidence they can offer to substantiate their position is dogma and chauvinism.

We print this letter in support of the righteous struggle to expose and beat back the use of prisons and the criminal injustice system as tools of political repression.

Racial and Political persecution of Grassroots Black Political leaders and Activists

As many of you are likely aware, Amerika’s ‘intelligence’ and executive policing agencies, (federal, state and local), have a sordid legacy of persecuting and targeting grassroots Black political leaders and activists for destruction. The spectrum of methods applied here ranged from slander (false character and image depictions and attacks) spread through and by government agents and friendly media ‘assets’ to false and malicious criminal arrests and prosecutions, to violence and outright murder.

Such designs come as no surprise in a country that was built upon history’s first race-based and most brutal system of enslavement, and Native genocide and land theft. The very place where the false concept of race and attendant racism (white racial supremacy) were created.(1)

Since chattel slavery, and Amerikan society was artificially divided along politically created racial lines, it has been a central policy to prevent Blacks from organizing independent political institutions and parties. Until just a few decades ago, this policy included our systematic exclusion from participating as genuine citizens in electoral politics. Indeed, Amerika’s ‘dual party’ system evolved from the struggle to keep Blacks enslaved and out of the political sphere – contrary to deceptive official claims that this system arose as an expression of respect for diverse political views and representatives.(2)

It is also telling that many of the historical figures projected today as Amerikan heroes and ‘founding fathers’ embraced bigoted views and practiced genocidal and criminal policies that would have made even the most vicious German Nazi blush(27). Let’s not forget that the Central Intelligence Agency, in its formative years, absorbed and employed many of the Nazi’s worst war criminals as agents, assets and advisers.(3) Indeed, president George W. Bush’s grandfather was Hitler’s chief Amerikan financier during World War II, and ended in having his Union Banking Corporation confiscated under the Trading with the Enemies Act in October 1942 by the Roosevelt administration.(4)

Since U.S. executive policies of targeting ‘non-imbedded’ Black politicos for destruction were exposed in the 1970s, culminating in several congressional investigations and reports(5), efforts have been made to gloss over this history and to rehabilitate the images of these agencies, particularly through glamorized images and cultural fantasies projected of Amerikan police and intelligence agencies, via the vast entertainment/information media. However, behind this iron curtain of deception, official designs have not changed. A fact that I bear witness to, because I have been and am a target of them. Which is the basis of this letter.

I have been incarcerated since 1990, and have experienced first hand the brutal reality of Amerikan prisons. A system that, as the American Civil Liberties Union has acknowledged, is more and more “dedicated to the African American Community,”(6) and the underlying anti-Black orientation of this system, which cannot be honestly denied.(7)

For many years I have been reporting and pursuing public exposure and redress of the brutality, torture and abuses occurring inside these institutions, and have supported and co-founded several groups and organizations that also pursue these ends.

In 2005, I co-founded the New Afrikan Black Panther Party/White Panther Organization, a non-violent, legal and above-ground party whose focus is on promoting the interests and human rights, in strictly legal forms, of sectors of the U.S. population whose needs and interests are ignored, and who are not represented, by the ‘established’ political – economic system – especially poor, working class and imprisoned Blacks.

The NABPP/WPO specifically opposes criminal activities, ‘street gang’ mentalities and behaviors, violence (except in the extremes of self-defense), all forms of discrimination (racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, national, etc.) and all forms of oppression. We also promote the right to free, open and honest speech. Our orientation, ideologies, and views have been and are elaborated in our various periodicals and publications; many of them I authored.(8)

Because U.S. social policies are not oriented towards serving or promoting the needs, interests, rights and benefits of poor, working class and ethnic people, while our Party’s orientation specifically is, we are likely viewed as promoting views unpopular with and to the status quo. As a result of this in general, and my role in these efforts in particular, I have been and am targeted with those repressive methods reserved in Amerika for independent Black leaders and activists.

One typical form that this targeting has taken is my being falsely profiled by this prison as the leader of a criminal street gang or Security Threat Group (STG), namely the NABPP/WPO. This tactic of stigmatizing and consequently repressing Black political groups is certainly not new or unique, and harks back to policies applied by U.S. officials during periods when official racism was less veiled.(9) As Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Hugo Black pointed out:

“History should teach us… that… minority parties and groups which advocate extremely unpopular social or governmental innovations will always be typed as criminal gangs and attempts will always be made to drive them out.”
Barenblatt v. U.S., 360 U.S. 109, ISO(1959) (dissenting opinion)


So much for the facial validity of STG profiling.

I have persisted in seeking an explanation from this prisons’ and prison system’s administration as to what the NABPP/WPO has done or promotes that qualifies us for STG classification, besides the obvious reasons of their own racial and political intolerance. To date my inquiries have been evaded and I am told that I cannot formally grieve the matter through the established grievance procedures.

It is of course a crime to be a member of, to recruit for, or to act in furtherance of the goals of a criminal street gang. The criteria of what constitutes a criminal street gang is defined by law.(10) Incidentally, I might add, “street gang” implies groupings of people of color, since it is generally recognized that, since the 1970s, ‘urban’ is basically synonymous in Amerika with the Black population, over 90% of which lives in urban communities. Yet another ‘legal’ embodiment of the race factor, targeted at people of color selectively.

Moreover, to falsely impute criminal activities to one not duly convicted is per se defamation and slander (11) – and one is presumed innocent of crimes that they have not been thus convicted of.

This entire gang profiling of me and the NABPP/WPO here has been at the instigation of this prison’s near-exclusively white staff and investigator, (and admittedly conveyed to federal intelligence agencies), who come from local, rural, race-segregated communities of mountainous south-western Virginia and eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, who harbor socially conditioned and culturally ingrained insensitivities towards, and genuine ignorance of the views, values, history and culture, of urban people of color.

Typical of the tendency of racists to stereotype groups of people, these officials make no distinctions between Black political organizations and indeed declare that “all Black groups that promote dissent” fit their criteria of a gang or STG, as does any group or organization that criticizes government and prison practices and policies.

Further, they lump together every group that has ever used the “Black Panther” name (characterizing them all as generically, the “Black Panther group,” or “Black Panther gang.”) Although, there have been a great number of different organizations that have used the “Black Panther” name or logo; none of which is the NABPP/WPO affiliated with. In fact, initially they claimed the NABPP/WPO and the New Black Panther Party, which is led today by D.C.–based attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, were one and the same organization, whereas these two organizations have no connection. Interestingly, however, they have stated in writing that M. Shabazz – a federal lawyer – is the leader of a criminal gang also, namely the NBPP.

Many of the organizations that have used the Black Panther name in fact no longer exist, and had very different ideologies, agendas and views.(12) In deed, the NBPP is a quasi-religious group connected to the Nation of Islam, whose racial, political and economic views the NABPP/WPO do not share. Fundamentally, this prison designated the NABPP/WPO a gang and STG before even knowing what our views and interests are, and subsequently have ignored them in order to preserve this false criminal profile.

And using the generic, all-inclusive “Black panther” designation, they systematically bar any and all information on any BP organization, past, present, from possession by any prisoner, although most Black history reference books and general encyclopedias have entries on the original Black Panther Party and its leaders. So in essence, the policy here is to censor Black history while promoting the history and memories of white Amerikan figures and political leaders who exterminated Indians, and enslaved, brutalized and raped Blacks as an accepted political norm.(27) Racial discrimination.

But of course this repression is not without precedent.

The original BPP, which was founded in Oakland, California in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, and destroyed by the U.S. government, met with similar persecution. Indeed, its treatment by the U.S. government, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in particular, set the standard on official hatred and smear-mongering against groups bearing the BP name.

The original BPP was founded as a legal above-ground Black political party that promoted the rights of urban Blacks to defend their communities against crime and violence(13), and promoted community service programs to meet the economic needs of desperately poor urban Blacks that the government ignored; such as free breakfast programs for children (this was before food stamps and free school meals were widely available – in fact the government expanded food stamps and school meals as a counter to the Panther’s programs), petition drives against police brutality, free schools, free health clinics, free clothing and shoe programs, free busing to prisons, free senior citizen service programs, free sickle cell anemia research and testing, free pest control, plumbing and maintenance, ambulance, day care, and news service programs.(14)

Various surveys found the vast majority of the urban Black population supported the BPP. The BPP was so popular that similar BP formations sprang up in England, Israel, Bermuda, Australia and India. It also aided in forming similar groups among whites (the White Panther Party), the Mexicans (Brown Berets), Puerto Ricans (Young Lords Party), and white college student groups, which it worked closely with as allies. As Todd Gitlin of the Students for a Democratic Society noted, “at a time when most other black [groups] donned dashikis and glowered at whites, they [Panthers] welcomed white allies.” Eldridge Cleaver, the BP’s Minister of Information pointed out:

“in reality there is no such thing as a black movement and a white movement in the United States. These are merely categories of thoughts that only have reality in terms of the lines that the ruling class itself has drawn and is implementing amongst the people. The United States is controlled by one ruling class…”

Solely because of its orientation toward uplifting and serving the Black communities, and its influence on other poor and oppressed communities, the BPP was viciously slandered and attacked by the government, violence prone street gangs were incited by the FBI and police to attack and kill BPP leaders and members(15); racial and anti-white stereotypes were played up via the media; bogus letters were written by FBI agents and sent to BPP members, the public, landlords, employers, spouses, supporters, religious leaders, etc, to play the Black community, Panthers and other religious leaders, etc. to play the Black community, Panthers and other Black groups against each other: assassination raids were conducted by FBI and police to murder Panthers; false arrests and prosecutions of Panthers were conducted to stigmatize them as criminally inclined and to harass them and deplete Party funds and resources on defending members against false criminal charges and much more. All orchestrated by the FBI’s covert action program, COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program). (16)

The derogatory and violence-prone image of the BPP was solely the creation of a then openly racist and sexist FBI(16), led by J. Edgar Hoover(17), and other agencies, at a period when Blacks and women were refused employment with the FBI, and it was openly operating as an agency opposed to Blacks and Black communities(18). The concededly illegal and criminal methods used by the FBI against the BPP were exposed and denounced by the U.S. Congress in 1976(5), and several in-depth studies have been written on the FBI's anti-BPP and anti-Black crusade.(19)

While the FBI claimed, in the face of its exposure in the 1970s, that it would end or limit future COINTELPROs (although it has not), the false images it portrayed of the BPP continues and lives on in the white Amerikan public mind.(20) Hence, the very mention of the name BP today evokes images of a gun-toting Black version of the Ku Klx Klan.

But let there be no mistake about it, the BPP was not an exception to the rule in the application of these methods against Black political activists and leaders. As the Church Committee Congressional investigations of U.S. intelligence agencies exposed, all Black leaders and groups were targeted, even such groups and leaders as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr., all under FBI labeled of their being “violence prone” “Black Nationalist Hate Groups.”(9) Just like the criminal gang label is thrown around today.

As a recent in-depth expose by attorney William F. Pepper, and a wrongful death lawsuit he successfully prosecuted on behalf of the King family in 1999 revealed, the FBI, in collaboration with other U.S. civil and military intelligence agencies, were King’s actual killers.(21)

King’s widow, the late Coretta Scott King, had this to say about Pepper’s book:

“For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and represented our family in the civil trial against he conspirators. The jury affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King’s assassination.”

Yet today, the U.S. government pretends to respect the memory and work of this man that it murdered, with a national holiday.(22)

The object, then as today, is to destroy independent and influential Black political leaders and replace them with ones “approved” by U.S. officials to mislead us.(23) To continue the oppressive and steadily deteriorating conditions within, and to divide, the U.S. Black communities.

As the Church Committee report revealed, assistant FBI director William C. Sullivan, promoted a COINTELPRO in which the FBI would hand-pick a “new national leader,” once King was eliminated.(24) Sullivan’s overall strategy, which he wrote in 1964, was to simultaneously destroy Dr. King, Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. He wrote:

“…when this is done, and it can and will be done, obviously much confusion will reign, particularly among the Negro people… The Negroes will be left without a national leader of sufficiently compelling personality to steer them in the proper direction…”(25)

Sullivan recommended Black corporate lawyer Samuel R. Pierce, Jr as King’s replacement.

Yesterday it was a corporate lawyer, today it is an ex-law professor – Barack Obama.

We of course know that COINTELPRO is alive and well. The repressions I face are classic COINTELPRO methods. Also, three years ago FBI director Robert Mueller announced before a Senate subcommittee the implementation of a new “Threat Assessment Program” (TAPS). A modern COINTELPRO targeted specifically at U.S. prisoners who are politically active, under the cover, as always, of professing to prevent potential violence. The same self-serving rationale used to justify the ongoing persecution and ultimate murder of Dr. King, and targeting all other Black political groups, leaders and activists.(26) TAPS involves the FBI, along with Homeland Security and other agencies, working in collaboration with various prisons and prison systems nationwide to identify, profile, disrupt, repress and neutralize prisoner activists (groups and individuals), being mindful that several influential Black political leaders like Malcolm X and George Jackson developed inside of prison. I have been informed that I have been and am a target of TAPs.

Methods that I have been targeted with include the following:
Frequent interception and destruction of my mail;
Systematic obstruction of all articles I write or artwork I create from coming into the prison;
Obstructions of my ability to collaborate with outside editors and contacts to have my articles and a book I wrote published;
Blocking nearly all of my periodicals from reaching me;
Repeated targeting with trumped-up disciplinary reports;
Repeated indictments on trumped up violent crimes that have been each dismissed in turn – the last one with prejudice where I conducted my defense pro se (abuse of process);
Habitually disappearing my incoming mail or rejecting it as in violation of prison policy without explanation;
Barring my contacts with various attorneys who’ve attempted to assist me;
Rejecting, opening and delaying my legal mail – even from the ACLU – outside my presence;
Hampering my contacts with the courts in anticipated and pending litigations;
Frequent destructions and thefts of my legal property which I’ve had to obtain court orders to have returned;
Barring my visitors and telephone use and blocking the telephone numbers of loved ones and others;
Targeting me with threats, attempts and actual acts of violence by guards and their white supremacist inmate lackeys, etc.

I should add that further conditions exist at this prison, and within this prison system, which are openly race-motivated or otherwise unlawful, e.g. the censorship of Black - and Brown – oriented cultural, political and historical publications as STG materials; while no such measures are applied to mainstream and white publications and media; censorship of all media and publications that in any way critique U.S. government, prison and economic policies and practices; censorship of publications and media by or about grassroots Black historical figures and leaders such as Huey P. Newton and Harry Haywood, while publications about racist, murderous and criminally oppressive white historical figures like Adolph Hitler, Geroge Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, etc., etc. are stocked in the prison library and accessible to all prisoners; promoting, protecting and hiring of staff at the prison who are members and affiliates of white supremacist groups and gangs; repression of prisoners who are “documented members” of actual Black and Brown street gangs while officials protect and give free reign to members of white supremacist gangs and use them as hit men against disliked prisoners of color (29), removing all television stations from the prison's closed circuit television system that aired Black programs and refusing channels that air Spanish-language Brown programs; harassing local radio stations and programs that play Black music and allow call-ins to prisoners from friends, family and supporters; subjecting Black and Brown prisoners to the harshest and highest security levels and conditions while maintaining white prisoners in minimum security with extensive privileges and benefits, making security level classifications along blatantly racial lines, frequent targeting of Black and Brown prisoners with abuse, violence, denied meals, etc.; deliberately engineering and facilitating violent conflicts between and against prisoners of color, particularly between prisoners documented as members of rival Black and Brown street gangs (28), populating these remote prisons that are staffed nearly-exclusively by rural whites with predominantly non-white prisoners, etc., etc.

That the FBI and other intelligence and executive agencies are more racially diverse today than during the 1960s and 70s in no way invalidates their anti-Black policies. Indeed it was a Black Chicago policeman – Gloves Davis – that shot two sleeping BPP leaders, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, in the heads at point blank range in December 1969, in an FBI orchestrated assassination raid. It was today’s FBI that assassinated Puerto Rican grassroots leader Filberto Ojeda Rios in September 2005, sparking protests across Puerto Rico, which spanned everyday civilians to government leaders.(30) Also the most brutal violence against South Afrikan Blacks during openly racist apartheid was often carried out by Black soldiers and police(31). We see Black and Brown police involved as viciously as white ones in unprovoked and unjustified violence and murders of urban youth of color today, in Amerika.

Furthermore, the National Security council (NSC), which is chaired by the U.S. President, and whose enforcement arm is the CIA, implemented NSC memorandum #46 in 1978. The stated goals of which were/are to ensure the permanent demise and destruction of the U.S. Black liberation and civil rights movements(32). In its own words, NSC-46 devised to ensure that there would never evolve another independent Black leader or organization that could unite the U.S. Black populations; to play white working class people against Blacks; to divide the Black community and political groups; to bring more Blacks into established political institutions so they could be controlled and used to mislead the Black population; and to destroy all aspirations then prevailing among Blacks to develop an independent Black political party.

So we see an overall historical continuum till today of targeting Black leaders and activists for destruction who are not “approved” by the Establishment, and deliberately maintaining the urban Black communities in crisis. And the same old tactics are being used.

Officials at this prison have conceded working with the FBI and DHS in “intelligence sharing” – government speak for inter-agency repressive covert actions against targeted individuals and groups.

Of course, none of what I’ve touched on herein related to the history and designs of this country’s intelligence and policing agencies is unknown to the various recipients of this letter, it’s your M.O. and S.O.P. It’s the general public that’s kept oblivious of it. Moreover, I’ve only skimmed that surface, just enough to place my issues in their proper context, and to satisfy my burden of placing each of you on notice of my issues before pursuing redress in other forums, and to afford you the opportunity to address/redress these matters.

I am therefore presenting this letter of complaint to all named agencies and officials, requesting that such racially and politically motivated persecution and abuses cease, that the false gang/STG profiling of me and the NABPP/WPO at this prison and anywhere else be rescinded with an apology for this defamation, and that all the illegal, discriminatory and retaliatory treatments and conditions mentioned herein be abolished. If I hear nothing from you all within 20 days, I will proceed to seek both public and judicial exposure and redress of these and other practices against those official hereby notified, via copy of this.

Notes and supplementary commentary:

1. See, e.g. Theodore Allen, The Invention of the White Race (New York: Verse, 1997); Steve Martinof, The Rule of Racialization (Philadelphia: Temple University press, 2003).

In 1676 Afrikan and English slaves and indentured servants, (who enjoyed equal statuses and conditions of brutality and abuse), came together under a rebellious young planter, Nathaniel Bacon, in an united revolt that overthrew the colonial government in Virginia, and burned down the capitol of Jamestown (Bacon’s Rebellion). Six months into the revolt Bacon died of influenza, and without its leader the revolt was defeated by colonial forces. Subsequently, the colonial government instituted a policy designed to prevent any similar revolt from occurring again, by dividing the society of poor workers against each other along racial lines. In 1682 laws were passed creating the “Negro” and “white” races and making slavery an hereditary and permanent status for Afrikans. (see, William W. Hening, Statues at Lorge: The Laws of Virginia (Richmond, 1809), pp. 492 ff). In 1705 the “race line was further clarified by laws that defined as “Negro” anyone having “one drop” of Afrikan blood. Slavery and servitude of whites was phased out, and they were brought together under the concept of being a “superior” race, religiously ordained to enslave Blacks under the Biblical “curse of canaan.” The entire white society was mobilized as a united force (slave patrols) to police and brutally repress Blacks, whom they were indoctrinated to hate and fear. This politically manufactured system gave birth to white racism, that persists till today, and was exported from the Virginia colonies to all areas where Europeans came into contact with and sought to conquer the lands and seize the wealth and labor power of people of color. And is preserved in multitudes of ways by today’s capitalist political-economic systems, which deliberately pits whites, Blacks and other races against each other.

2. “The purity of democratic institutions was, in the historical debates around Manifest Destiny, an extension of the purity concept of whiteness. And in the evolution of the two-party system, a further extension of the structure of racialization expressing itself. The force driving U.S. political process toward a two-party system historically was none other than the question of slavery and the disenfranchisement of the black voter….
“The disenfranchisement of the black voter has been a major issue throughout U.S. history. It was hotly debated right after the Revolution, imposed in most states before the civil war, imposed by means of paramilitary operations during and after reconstructions, and flaunted in the face of constitutional guarantees of the right to vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The drive to disenfranchise black people continues today through massive felony incarceration for misdemeanors and victimless crimes, for which they lose suffrage. According to Paul Haygood, more than 13% of potential black voters are currently disenfranchised (Ryan Paul Haygood, Black Commentator June 10, 2004. According to Haygood, of the 4.7 million people disenfranchised by felony conviction in the U.S., 1.4 million are black males, or 13% of the adult black population this does not count black females).”
-Steve Martinot, Socialism and Democracy, “Mexico, Iraq, and the Two-party system: Studies in White Supremacy,” Vol. 19, No 1, March 2005, pp 129-30.

3. Exposes on the protection and employment of Nazi war criminals by the U.S. and British governments are legion. See for example, Christopher Simpson, Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and its Effects on the Cold War (New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988) (on Rauff, the inventor and administrator of the gas truck execution program which murdered approximately 250,000 people, see pp. 92-94, on Gehlen, Hitler’s most senior intelligence office on the brutal Eastern Front, see pp. 70-72, 248-263, 279-283, on Barbie, the Gestapo’s “Butcher of Lyons,” see pp. 185-195); see also, Mary Ellen Reese, General Reinhard Gehlen’s the CIA Connection (Fairfax, VA: George Mason University Press, 1990); Erhard Dubringhaus
Klaus Barbie: The Shocking Story of How the US Used this Nazi War Criminal as an Intelligence Agent – a First Hand Account (Washington: Acropolis, 1984); John Loftus, The Belarus Secret (New York: Knopf, 1982) ch. 5; Tom Bower, Klaus Barbie: The “Butcher of Lyons” (New York: Pantheon, 1984); Kai Hermann, “A Killer’s Career,” Stern (Germany), May 10 and following, 1984 (six part series based upon declassified U.S. government documents and interviews conducted in Bolivia); Linda Hunt, Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945-1990 (New York, St. Martin’s, 1991); Alexander Cockburn, et al. Whitehout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press (London, Vergo, 1990) chs 6 and 7; Eugene J. Kolb, [former U.S. counterintelligence corps officer and chief of operations in the Augsburg region of Germany) “Army Counterintelligence's Dealings with Klaus Barbie,” Letter, New York Times, July 26, 1983, p. A20 (defending the employment of Barbie); Michael McClintock, Instruments of statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare Counter-Insurgency and Counter-terrorism, 1940-1990 (New York: Pantheon, 1992), especially ch 3 (important study of U.S. intelligence’s absorption of Nazi methods and practitioners into U.S. special warfare doctrine after World War II.

4. Charles Higham, Trading with the Enem: An Expose of the Nazi-American Money Plot (NewYork: Delacorte, 1983). George Bush is certainly not an exception among prominent U.S. government officials with direct lines of descent from major Nazis. Karl Roves grandfather helped run the Nazi party and build the Birkenau Death camp, and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Austrian father was a Nazi SA volunteer and became a ranking officer. See, The Free Press , October 6, 2003.

5. See Church Committee, U.S. Congressional Report: Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, 94th Congress, 2nd Section, Report No 94-755 (1976) (Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office), Books II and III.

6. ACLU, Cracks in the System: Twenty Years of the Unjust Federal Crack Cocaine Law (October 2006)

7. Harvard Law Review, “Developments in the Law-Race and the criminal Process.” Vol 101, Nov 7, May 1988, pp. 1973-1641 (comprehensive dissection of racial discrimination in the ‘criminal justice’ system, determining that discrimination exists at every stage of the ‘criminal justice’ process); Steven R. Donziger, ed, The Real War on Crime: The Report of the National Criminal Justice Commission (New York: Harper Collins, 1996), especially ch4, Michael Tonry, Malign Neglect – Race, Crime, and Punishment in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)

8. Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, The Don’t Shank the Guards Handbook: Legal Resource to Guards Brutality, Harassment and Rape (2003); On the Question of Race and Racism (2006), “Wimyn hold up half the sky” (2008), etc.

9. Op Cit. note 5, book III, p. 4 9The FBI's “covert action” programs were generally targeted at any Black political and other groups. “The Black Nationalist Program, according to its supervisor, included ‘a great number of organizations that you might not today characterize as black nationalist but which were in fact primarily black. Indeed, the nonviolent Southern Christian Leadership Conference was labeled as a Black Nationalist ‘Hate Group’.”)

10. In Virginia where I am incarcerated for example, the criminal laws defining and governing “Criminal street gangs,” are set out under VA Code sections 18.2 – 466.1 through 18.2-46.3:3, which parallel similar federal criminal laws under Title 18 of the U.S. Code.

11. For defamation law in Virginia governing false imputations of crime, see for example, Zayre of VA, lac. V. Gowdy, 207 Va. 47, 147 S. E. 2d 710 (1966); [Shupe v. Rose’s stores, Inc. 213 Va. 374, 192 S.E. 2d 766 (1972). But see especially, Schnupp v. Smith, 249 Va. 353, 457 S. E. 2d 42 (1995) (words that impute the commission of a crime that is punishable by imprisonment in a state or federal institution are actionable defamation and slander per se). Accord, VA Code Section 8 01-45.

12. The various Black organizations that have used the Black Panther name, past and present, include, the original Black Panther party (U.S. 1966-1982), the Black Panther movement (England), the Black Panther Party of Israel, Black Panther Party (Australia), Dalit Panthers (India), New Black Panther Party (U.S., 1990-present), New Black Panther Vanguard Movement (U.S., 1994-present), Black Panther Collective (U.S. 1994-present), the National Alliance of Black Panthers (U.S.), Anarchist Black Panthers (U.S.), the NABPP/WPO (U.S.,. 2005 – present), etc.

13.As Huey Newton pointed out in a February 11, 1973 interview with William Buckley, on Public Television: Firing Line, “we were very careful to follow city ordinances, gun regulations, state law, and our constitutional rights.”

14. Charles E. Jones, et al, “Don’t believe the Hype: Debunking the Panther Mythology,” The Black Panther Party Reconsidered Baltimore, MD, Black Classic, 1998) pp29-31.

15. op. cit. note 5, book III p42, one of many examples was where the FBI sent “[a]n anonymous letter…to the leader of the Blackstone Rangers, a Chicago gang” to whom violent type activity, shooting, and the like, are second nature” advising him that “the brothers that run the Panthers blame you for blocking their thing and there’s supposed to be a hit out for you.” The letter was intended to ‘intensify the degree of animosity between the two groups’ and cause ‘retaliatory action which could disrupt the BPP or lead to reprisals against its leadership’.”

16. op.cit, note 6, book III pp. 185-224, section titled “the FBIs Covert Action program to Destroy the Black Panther Party” “[R]ecently a reporter’s Freedom of Information Act investigation into COINTELPRO files found that the American government had done everything possible to infiltrate the Black Panthers and other lesser-known activist groups, then had its ‘agents lead the groups into violent gestures that would divide them, undermine their credibility and bring down the full weight of the state’ on the leaders’ heads.” William Hinton, Through A Glass Darkly (New York, Monthly Review, 206).

“[R]epression in the United States is worse than ever before and much, much harsher than the world – or most Americans, for that matter – is aware or told. In New Mexico, for example, the Alianza led by Reies Tijerina, has been hounded relentlessly since 1966, its offices have been dynamited (by police at that), its leaders shot, its members jailed on such flagrantly outrageous charges that few Americans would believe – even today – the strictly factual story. At the time of writing, Tijerian himself was locked up for years and his Alianza was flagging. As for the Blacks, their repression is not less brutal, just more widespread. The whole primary and secondary leadership of the Black Panther Party has been jailed on obvious frame-ups. They have been beaten, tortured, and murdered. Twice in Oakland, I saw with my own eyes, police in official cars come by a group of Panthers talking peacefully on a street and open fire at them. Three times I witnessed police arrest Panthers, handcuff them, and then pistol-whip them. In over a dozen cases, after seeing Panthers arrested, I have gone to see them in jail and found them bloodied from having “fallen down the stairs” or from having “assaulted a policeman.” And the whole world knows – for this time it was reported in the press – that on-duty Chicago policemen murdered Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in their sleep. By the end of 1969, not a single policemen had been brought to justice for these acts of violence. On the other hand, all of white America’s law enforcement agents, including federal marshals and America’s law enforcement agents, including federal marshals and the FBI, have gone out of their way – and, often, out of their jurisdiction – to arrest Panthers, without having warrants. Federal marshals have even refused to honor a court order not to remove Chairman Bobby Seale from California (which, legally, made the marshals kidnappers.) By 1970, twenty-eight Black Panthers has been murdered by the police, some beaten to death after arrest (Charles Cox in Chicago), some in unprovoked assaults (seventeen year-old Bobby Hutton in Oakland, Hampton and Clark in Chicago), most in front of scores of witnesses, who could never testify, as the police were never charged.”
John Gerassi, The Coming of the New International (World Publishing Co. 1971) pp. 552-553.

17. See, Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and his Secrets (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1991)

18. Kenneth O’Reilly, “Racial Matters”: The FBI’s Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972 (Now York: Free Press, 1989).

19. Id.; Ward Churchill et al. , Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars on the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement (Boston: South End, 1988); etc.

20. “The FBI has attempted covertly to influence the public’s perception of persons and organizations by disseminating derogatory in formation to the press, either anonymously or through “friendly” contacts.” Joy James, Shadow Boxing (New York: St. Martin’s, 1999) p. 112, see also op. cit. note 5.

21. William F. Pepper, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (London: Verson, 2003).

22. “Even after King’s death, [FBI] agents in the field were proposing methods for harassing his widow, and Bureau officials were tring to prevent his birthday from becoming a national holiday.” Op. cit. note 5, book I, p. 223.

23. Ward Churchill, et al, The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI’s Secret Wars Against Dissent in America (Boston: South End, 1990), p. 97.

24. op. cit. note 5, book III, p.136

25. Ibid.

26. The Church Committee summed up the limits on law enforcement agencies methods of “preventing violence”:
“The prevention of violence is clearly not, in itself, an improper purpose; preventing violence is the ultimate goal of most law enforcement. Prosecution and sentencing are intended to defer future criminal behavior, not only of the subjct but also of others who might break the law. In that sense, law enforcement legitimately attempts the indirect prevention of possible violence and, if the methods used are proper raises no constitutional issues. When the government goes beyond traditional law enforcement methods, however, and attacks group membership and advocacy , it treads on ground forbidden to it by the constitution. In Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 v.s. 444 (1969), the Supreme Court held that the government is not permitted to ‘forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or law violation except where such advocacy is directed toward inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.’ In the absence of such clear and present danger, the government cannot act against speech nor presumably against association.”
Op. cit., note 5, book III, p6.

27. David E. Stannard, American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). An excerpt, p. 120:
“[T]he surviving Indians later referred to [President George] Washington by the name “Town Destroyer,” for it was under his direct orders that at least 28 of the 30 Seneca towns from Lake Erie to the Mohawk River had been totally obliterated in a period of less than five years, as had all the towns and villages of the Mohawk, the Onondaga, and the Cayuga. As one Iroquoi’s told Washington to his face in 1792: ‘t o this day, when that name is heard, our women folk look behind them and turn pale, and our children cling close to the necks of their mothers.”
“[President Thomas] Jefferson … in 1807 instructed his Secretary of war that any Indians who resisted American expansion into their lands must be met with “the hatchet.” “And…if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe,” he wrote, “we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi.’ Continuing: ‘in war, they will kill some of us, we shall destroy all of them’ Indeed, Jefferson’s writings on Indians are filled with the straightforward assertion that the natives are to be given a simple choice – to be ‘extirpate[d] from the earth’ or to remove themselves out of the Amerikans’ way. Had these same words been enunciated by a German leader in 1939, and directed as European Jews, they would be engraved in modern memory.”

In fact Hitler based his genocidal methods on study of the U.S. treatment of Native Americans. See, John Toland Adolf Hitler (New York, Doubleday, 1976). P. 702 (“Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicability of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the Camas for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west, and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”); Joachim C. Fest, Hitler (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1973), p.214 (Hitler’s “continental war of conquest” was modeled “with explicit reference to the United States.”); Richard Rubenstein, “Afterword: Genocide and Civilization,” Isidor Walliman, eds, et al, Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case Studies of Mass Death (westport, CT, Greenwood, 1987), p 288 9”Hitler saw the settlement of the New World and the concomitant elimination of North American’s Indian population by white European settlers as a model to be followed by Germany on the European continent.”)

On Columbus, see Samuel Elliot Morison, Christopher Columbus, Mariner (Boston: Little, Brown 1955), p. 129.

“By 1508 a census showed 60,000 of the estimated 1492 population of 250,000 [on Hispaniola] still alive, although the Bahamas and Cuba had been raided to obtain more slaves. Fifty years later, not 500 remained. The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successor resulted in complete genocide."

Furthermore, Washington and Jefferson were two of the largest slave-owners of their day. Jefferson, in fact, raped and sired a child by a 14-year-old slave girl, Sally.

28/29. Prison officials' inciting and facilitating violent conflicts and "gladiator fights" between rival racial groups of prisoners is a common trend in U.S. prisons, as the 1997 documentary expose film Maximum Security University revealed.

30. The Nation, "The killing of Filiberto Ojeda Rios," October 7, 2005. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051024/jiminez

31. Kurt Campbell, "Marching for Pretoria," Boston Globe Magazine. Marh 1, 1987, pp 161.

32. The National Security Act of July 26, 1947, which created the NSC and CIA, limits the powers of these agencies to political and military matters outside of the U.S.

chain
[Political Repression] [Gender] [New York] [ULK Issue 4]
expand

Psycho-Sexual Warfare vs. Political Prisoners

On May 19th, 2008 I received the book that you sent me, Schooling the Generations in the Politics of Prison edited by Chinosole. I really enjoyed this book, especially the section called, "Genocide waged against the Black Nation," which starts on page 174. I totally agree with the theory that psychological warfare is being waged against political prisoners in an effort to get them to comply with brainwashing objectives of the U$ penal and imperialist system.

Dr. Edward Schein mentions 24 strategic techniques that prison officials use in order to break and dehumanize political prisoners. However, there is one strategic technique that Dr. Schein fails to mention that I would like to address in full detail: the sexual exploitation and manipulation of young and political prisoners by female staff sexual perpetrators. This technique leads to false disciplinary and criminal charges being filed against political prisoners who pose the greatest threat to the prison's use of oppression and most importantly have the potential to lead other prisoners to fight the system.

Let me briefly explain how this is done. First, prison officials determine which prisoners have the greatest leadership potential and pose the greatest threat to the prison - politically speaking.

Once this is determined, prison officials will try numerous psychological mind-breaking techniques to disrupt and strip the political prisoner of his focus and will, and at the same time dehumanize him by making him subservient.

Once a political prisoner proves to be too strong mentally and once the prison officials techniques fail, prison officials will place these political prisoners in an ambiguous and pressure-filled situation. The high-ranking prison official will order a female staff member to play sexual manipulation games with this political prisoner, while at the same time putting pressure on them to conform and comply with what is desired by the female staff in order to win favor and to have the pressure lifted.

If the political prisoner does not agree to comply with the female staff's sexual advances, then the female staff will create false claims of harassment against the political prisoners, which will result in false disciplinary and maybe criminal charges. If the political prisoner does agree to comply with the female staff's sexual advances, then he risks being set-up and retaliated against by jealous male staff members. This will likely lead to physical assault of the prisoner by male guards, in addition to false disciplinary and criminal charges.

It's a dirty game and this technique by prison officials is typically used against political prisoners who have the greatest potential for awakening and organizing the rest of the prison population.

Often, if the political prisoner chooses to have the sexual relationship with the female staff member, high-ranking prison officials will lift the pressure from the political prisoner, thinking that the prisoner has been neutralized and has become subservient to the wills of the administration. Once a political prisoner loses his focus and allows himself to be sexually exploited and manipulated, he dehumanizes himself and basically strips himself of his unique individuality and becomes neutralized, ineffective, psychologically incompetent and easy to control.

This prisoner basically becomes a slave to the female staff member, because the female staff is allowed to act aggressively sexually toward the prisoner. But once the prisoner tries to act aggressively, he will be beaten by the jealous male staff. This game is normally played on younger prisoners, but it is a tactic that works on all prisoners because it's a no-win situation.

MIM adds: In an article entitled, Gender Oppression in u$ Prisons we quoted a study that found that, "In State and Federal prisons, 65% of inmate victims of staff sexual misconduct and harassment were male, while 58% of staff perpetrators were female".

Maoists have long explained that gender is not about genitalia, but about power and relations between groups in leisure time activities. The Abu Ghraib photos were a clear lesson in this reality. Since then, it has become well established that amerikan bio-wimmin were used as gender oppressors against Arab biomen in prisons in Iraq and elsewhere. The use of sex in political repression within the u$ described above is another example of this theory in practice. Just as we say that sex cannot be consensual under patriarchy where gender is defined by power, there can be no consent between prisoners and prison staff.

This article referenced in:
chain