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Under Lock & Key

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[Political Repression] [ULK Issue 30]
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George Jackson Correction

In ULK 28 there is an article "Black August and Bloody September" that reads:

"George Jackson and his comrades became living examples and inspiration for organized resistance of prisoners across the country. On August 21, 1971, George Jackson and two other New Afrikan prisoners were killed (along with three prison guards) in a gunfight inside one of California's maximum-security prisons called San Quentin."

This information is not only erroneous but also serves to advance the state/CDC/law enforcement in general, who spun the mysterious manifestation of the 9mm handgun and a wig. There was no gunfight that dreadful day, nor were there three brothers killed either. The only brother lost on August 21st 1971 was mwenzi George.

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[Political Repression] [Southeast Correctional Center] [Missouri]
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Targeting Activists in Missouri

It seems I have become a target of the oppressors and their trained pigs. On Tuesday, October 2, 2012 the SouthEast Corruption Center, located in Charleston Missouri, conducted a mass lock-up where 72 people (including myself) were locked up for nothing at all. Prior to this, the SouthEast Corruption Center was already on lockdown due to pigs being assaulted. Sadly, there was also a prisoner-on-prisoner assault. All this took place in a two week time frame.

So on the above date, while still on lockdown, around 1pm E-squad went throughout the KKKamp with a list of 72 people's names. These pigs came to my assigned cell, told me to pack my property, then stripped me out, placed me in handcuffs and escorted me to the hole. When I arrived in the segregation unit, I was placed on a bench with another brother who was part of this massive lockup. I was then informed by a pig that they were clearing out the bedspace wing that they have here due to overcrowding and making room for us.

After they cleared out the bedspace wing, me and the other brother on the bench were taken to housing unit two D, the bedspace wing now converted to an Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) wing. And this is when I realized the seriousness of the situation. They locked up 72 people from all walks of life; I do not say this to create barriers or separation. We are all oppressed and victims of this system. So we all have a common enemy.

But out of the 72 people locked up, there were 10 caucasians, one Arab and 61 New Afrikans. The 72 was a variety of Crips, Bloods, GDs, Five Percenters, homosexuals, Moslems, Christians, white pride gangs and revolutionaries. Again, I do not say this to show separation, only to point out those targeted on this massive lock up. We were told we were the shot callers on the yard and had the power and influence. I can assure you I am not a shot caller and have no power and influence on the yard, because if I did, there would never be a prisoner-on-prisoner assault, that's a promise.

We were placed on Ad-Seg, locked down and treated as if we were on disciplinary action. We were denied showers for almost a week, denied recreation for two weeks, denied phone calls for a month and denied medical sick call. When a nurse came in the wing to give people their daily medication, she told us that they were told not to do sick call for that wing.

When our TASC property was brought to us, nobody had paper, envelopes or stamps which was previously in our property. They deliberately made sure we could not reach out to anyone outside. But brothers from the other wings helped out a whole lot and for that, I am forever grateful.

Not one brother out the 72 had broken any rules, or had any violations. So they did not have probable cause to lock us up. Our temporary Ad-Seg confinement form stated: confinement is ordered on the basis of the following criteria: "There is an immediate security risk involved. For the security and good order of the institution." Statement of facts in support of TASC/comments: "inmate represents a threat to institutional safety and security." And then it states why they are a threat. Which were are all things people did in the past, from years ago. This included things like drugs, assaults on pigs, assaults on prisoners, and gang activity.

We saw the Ad-Seg committee on October 9th, 2012 and everybody was given a 30 day review; even though nobody had any violations and they had no rights to lock us up. Half were scheduled to see them on November the 6th and the other half on November the 8th. On Nov 6, 36 people went up to see them, 8 were let go and everyone else received anywhere from a 30 to 90 day review.

But on Nov 7 the Southeast Corruption Center did another mass movement where 50 people were transferred, and it was not even a transfer day. Transfers are done on Tuesdays and Thursdays, this was a Wednesday. Out of the 72 brothers locked up for being a threat to the safety and security of the institution, only 10 were transferred. You would think, if 72 shot callers in one prison (with all the power and influence on the yard) were that much of a threat to the institution, the institution would break them up and spread them out by sending them to different prisons, but this was not the case.

The other 36 brothers (including myself) went up and saw them on Nov 8 and 9 more brothers were released back to the yard. The rest received anywhere from 30 to 90 days review. I myself received 90 days.

They thoroughly inventoried our property. They inventoried it so thoroughly we did not get a copy of the inventory form for 2-3 weeks. Then we were informed that they had confiscated some of our belongings. I myself was missing all my revolutionary material (literature, artwork, books), hot pot, extension cord for my TV, and a lot of my pictures.

This is not their first time attacking me for my political beliefs, and I'm 100% sure it is not their last time. But they cannot break what was not built to be broken.

All the other 72 brothers were placed under Security Threat Group (STG) for their past history in prison. The TASC form says they pose a threat to the institution, gang group activities, drugs, assaults on pigs or assaults on inmates. All mine says is "Inmate represents a threat to institutional safety and security due to creating disturbance." I am the only one down here for representing a threat to the institution due to creating a disturbance. I have not broken any rules, I have not caught any violations and they cannot produce any evidence to show that I need to be in the hole because I'm a threat to the safety and security of the institution.

We've had our family call here and they get the run around and lies. They were told that we were involved in an incident, and even said we all requested PC on the same day.

We have filed Informal Resolution Request Forms (IRA) and some have come up missing, including my celly's and mine. So we have asked for another which we are in the process of filing.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This common story of targeting politically active prisoners for repression is a demonstration of what the injustice system really sees as a threat. Prisoner's with an ability to organize and educate others are the foundation of a successful unity among the lumpen behind bars. These comrades will be the backbone building the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

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[Political Repression] [High Desert State Prison] [Nevada] [ULK Issue 29]
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Delayed Report on September 9 Protest and Repression

This comes to you long overdue from High Desert State Prison (Nevada). September 9 has come and gone and I have no information as to how it went except for what follows below.

On September 6 I was cuffed up and put in the most isolated unit at the prison. Several others were simultaneously moved to other units. I was locked up "pending disciplinary" for write ups I'd gotten for doing legal work. However additional charges had been filed against me on 8/29 for organizing a work stoppage/disruptive demonstration. I did not know this at the time.

On 9/8 another comrade was also locked up behind a matter completely unrelated to 9/9 as well.

On 9/9 I fasted in my cell. No one else on this tier did so. It's assumed they never got word, not surprising given the security level in this unit.

On 9/9 there was little notice of my fast and I heard no radio traffic which would indicate that anything was going on elsewhere in the prison. There was no discussion concerning anything irregular occurring.

On 9/21 I was served the second notice of charges.

On 10/5 I was found not guilty of the first legal work write up.

On 10/6 I was convicted of the work stoppage/demonstration write up. I was given 180 days disciplinary segregation, a class B state time referral and referred to the parole board for revocation/rescission of parole.

A letter received informed me that, in fact, few people from my former unit participated in the fast and this evidences a successful oppressor strategy: divide and conquer. They calculated (apparently correctly), that if they removed the perceived organizer and driving force behind the action that the witnesses to that removal and the remaining parties would be dissuaded and intimidated and abandon the action. Excepting a few loyal comrades, this was apparently correct.

This is a common and timeless strategy. Unfortunately it is successful all too often. There remains a few who spoke for the many and (as far as I can tell) I was the only target of retribution. I can live with that!

2013 is not far off and I will be again one of the few speaking for the many, if that's what it takes.

For those who stood by us and our comrades country-wide, respects to all!

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[Political Repression] [Suwanee Correctional Institution] [Florida]
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Retaliation for Political Organizing in Florida

On August 30, 2012, a day after I mailed a document to the Florida ACLU, Department of Justice, FL Justice Institute, and James Casey of the FBI in Jacksonville FL, concerning pigs beating and slamming captives to the concrete head first while in handcuffs, I was placed under investigation for conspiracy. This was a response to a thesis I penned and distributed amongst the captive population entitled "Guan Suwannee Mo Bay." Somehow the pigs got a copy of Guan Suwannee Mo Bay and I became public enemy focus. I guess their 21 day investigation revealed that I had not in fact violated any laws, but I was not to be allowed back in to general population. So they started hitting me up with fabricated disciplinary reports to keep me in confinement.

On September 18th, they delivered a DR (disciplinary report) for a violation (I-4) disrespect to Official, fabricated by a classification officer Mr. F.P. Freihofer, who claimed that he was conducting a check of the housing unit when I stopped him and said "y'all got me in here on some bogus shit, when are you crackers going to finish this pussy shit?" Then he said, he ordered me to cease my disrespectful behavior to which I replied, "it's just bullshit to be locked up for no reason." Of course you know I didn't say any of this, doing such would have gotten me lynched (gassed) on the spot. This is just the result of a retaliation campaign to keep me in confinement to stop the spread of Guan Suwannee Mo Bay, my publication amongst the captives.

On September 19th, I received another DR, this one charged me with extortion. The classification officer, Miss Rogers, claimed that I attempted to extort $200 and some winter clothes from my cellie, by writing his mother a letter telling her to send her son $200 and order him some winter clothes. I was just helping my cellie write his mother; he is brand new in the system, missing three fingers on his right hand, and can barely write and spell, so he asked me to write the letter explaining to his mother that he had not been in prison 24 hours and he got beaten by the pigs at RMC, the Reception and Medical Center that is right down the street from his house. The pig who beat him is related to the victim in his case. He also asked me to explain to her how to call DOC, how to use the electronic depositing to send him $200, and how to go online to FL packages and order him winter clothes. I explained to her how she must use his DC # in order for him to receive anything, his DC# was on the letter not mine.

Classification claimed that she received a call from my celly's mother concerned that he was being extorted. Did classification refer the case to the inspector for investigation? No. Did she even simply just ask my cellie (whom by then had left my cell for DC confinement) if I was extorting him? No. And even though my cellie issued a statement in writing that I did not extort him and only gave him help that he requested, they still found me guilty and sentenced me to 90 days.

They are planning to bury me on closed management (CM) instead of cleaning up their Mis-justice, they're trying to cover it up. This is all retaliation for political educating and organizing!


MIM(Prisons) adds: Educating prisoners is one of our principal tasks in the fight against the criminal injustice system. But all too often we face repression and retaliation for this entirely legal work. This retaliation comes in the form of direct physical violence and torture for individual prisoners, and broader censorship for MIM(Prisons) mail and publications. All of this is a form of censoring voices speaking out against the injustice system. We must continue to expose these abuses, and fight for our limited right to speech under capitalism until we can establish a system where speech by the oppressed is valued.

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[Organizing] [Political Repression] [ULK Issue 28]
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Solidarity and Peace Demonstration Builds, Guards Retaliate

Approximately 30% of the population of this unit is committed to participation in the Solidarity Demonstration on September 9, which inevitably results in "leakage." On August 25 I was interrogated by two investigators from the inspector general's office about the food petition and then about organizing an uprising or disturbance in the dining room. While this was going on, two COs were destroying my cell. Upon return, my legal work and papers were all over the cell, as was my cellmate's. Nothing was taken except for one document which I cannot be certain is in their possession, but I must assume it is. Then they got a second prisoner out and repeated the process. One prisoner was taken about two hours prior to this episode for "different reasons."

Yesterday (28 August 2012) 17 COs, led by a Lieutenant, came into the unit and searched the entire unit. Two reasons were proffered: 1) Retaliation for grievances, 2) Suspect "gang" is being organized.

Nothing was found relating to September 9, "gangs" or anything else.

It is evident that they are aware that something is going on, and they are uneasy about the level of apparent coordination and secrecy. They are fishing right now, but this has been predicted and prepared for.

Aside from the obvious, there is some opposition to the September 9 action from segments of the prisoner population, which is the only apparent threat to its success. This has appeared in the form of disinformation and criticism of both the action and the integrity of persons involved in it. Predictably this segment is predominantly white power who always object to prisoner unification.

We created a cheat sheet for people at this institution, which we modified after hearing from you about how a prisoner organizing in another state suggested it would be more powerful to go to chow hall and sit without eating.

September 9 Cheat Sheet


1. Go to chow hall, accept food, go to clipper room window, render tray/sack inedible, go directly to seat
2. Go to chow, refuse tray go directly to seat
3. Unless directly confronted by CO ignore all comments, provocation and questions
4. Repeat at dinner
5. If directly confronted by CO about what is going on, politely tell them: "I am fasting." If you are asked why, tell them: "In support of my fellow prisoners..." and/or "because I am tired of..." and state your complaint.
6. Nothing more needs to be said

Important: Do not become belligerent, combative or antagonistic. Do not provoke a confrontation. More than 70% of major prison disturbances start in chow hall. By not provoking the COs we preserve the integrity of the action, and we protect each other. Most important, we do not give them our day.

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[Political Repression] [Colorado]
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Colorado Grievance Battle Leads to Punishment

Ever since Colorado prisons were mentioned in your previous issue of ULK concerning the grievance petitions, Colorado Department of Corrections has cut off our hobby work providers in favor of hobby items (colored pencils, paper, crafts, etc.) that are supposed to be sold on monthly canteen. They post these phantom hobby items on our monthly canteen lists, but won't actually sell any of it to us. The administrative regulations were created as smoke and mirrors to retaliate against us for grieving and petitioning (attempting to have a voice / be heard) for their inequities and injustices. So the hobby items simply don't exist in real life. It all looks good on paper when the auditors are here, but there's no one to put these pigs in check, hold them accountable. We have already grieved this issue in mass, what more can we do?


MIM(Prisons) responds: Often we face repression when we speak up against oppressive conditions and for basic rights. There are a few things we must do when this happens. First, publicize what's going on. Under Lock & Key is a good place to expose the prison's tactics. Second, use this opportunity to educate others. Spread the work in your prison about what's happening and organize others around the oppression. Third, continue the fight. Grievances aren't working: try the grievance petition to protect first and fifth amendments in Colorado. It's exactly situations like this one that led to the grievance campaign that MIM(Prisons) is helping to spread across the country. Write to us for a copy of the petition for your state.

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[Political Repression] [Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center] [Connecticut]
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Punished for Writing Protest of Shortened Visits

In May the Department of Corrections in Radgowski Correctional Institution tried to shorten our visits and decrease the number of visitors allowed in the visiting room. So I organized a good amount of brothers to put pen to paper and the response was immediate. Some of us were shipped out of the jail and some to other parts of the jail. I myself was moved from the privileged part of the jail to the assessment drums.

A move is only done when you catch a ticket which I had not. I refused housing and went to the box. Since then drugs have been planted on prisoners as well as false positive urines. Now I am a level 2 prisoner but I am being housed in level 4 (max). I have basically just got the run around about my transfer. I am writing to the commissioner now with no hopes of a positive or righteous response, more so just to exhaust the administrative remedies.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Grievances are not only ignored by prisons but filing them often results in punishment, like what is described by this comrade as happening in Connecticut. Yet each state bureaucracy will go to lengths to explain the "systems" they have in place for prisoners to address any abuse they face on their watch. A campaign to demand grievances be addressed was initiated in California and has spread to Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. It is needed in every state because there are prisons in every state. We need volunteers who can modify the petition to work in their state. Write to us for a copy of the petition.

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[Political Repression] [Organizing] [Control Units] [California State Prison, Corcoran] [California] [ULK Issue 26]
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Report Back from Corcoran Hunger Strike

[This series of events followed two statewide food strikes in California in 2011 focused on putting an end to Security Housing Units and improving justice and conditions in CA prisons.]

When we, the prisoners housed in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU1) of CSP-Corcoran, initiated a hunger strike to protest against the inhumane conditions and constitutional violations we faced in the ASU1, the prison officials responded with retaliation and indifference. Their intent was clear: to set an example of what would occur if these protests that had been rocking the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) this past year continued. Their statement was not only meant for the protestors in this ASU1, but for the entire class of oppressed prisoners in the CDCR.

The hunger strike in this ASU1 initially began on 28 December 2011. It was a collective effort with various races and subgroups standing in solidarity for a common interest. A petition was prepared with the issues we wanted to address, and it was submitted to the Corcoran prison officials and also sent out to prisoner rights groups in an attempt to gather support and attention.

A few hours after the protest began, Warden Gipson sent her staff to move the prisoners who were allegedly, and falsely, identified as "strike leaders" to a different ASU. I was included in that category because my signature was on the petition that was submitted to prison officials. When we initially refused to move, the correctional staff came to our cells wearing full riot gear to cell extract and move us by force. Since we were engaging in a peaceful protest, we agreed to move and were placed in the other ASU. This turned out to be 3A03 EOP, an Ad-Seg unit that houses severely mentally ill prisoners.

While isolated in that psychiatric ward, we continued to refuse food until we received word that the hunger strike ended in the ASU1. I later found out that the Warden and Captain had met with the spokesmen of the ASU1 protestors and promised to grant a majority of our demands but requested three weeks to implement the changes and to have the agreements in writing. The protestors agreed to give the prison officials the benefit of the doubt, and for that reason the hunger strike was put on hold.

I continued to file complaints and 602s during this period asserting that my placement in a unit along with severely mentally ill prisoners violated my Eighth Amendment right because I was not mentally ill; and that my placement in this psychiatric ward was the result of illegal retaliation by prison officials against me for exercising my First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and protest. These grievances went ignored. In addition to my isolation in the psychiatric ward, I received a 115 for "inciting/leading a mass disturbance" (12 month SHU term), and was later found guilty although they had no evidence to support that charge besides my signature on a petition. The other protestors who were also falsely identified as "strike leaders" were issued the same 115 for "inciting/leading a mass disturbance."

On 18 January 2012, Warden Gipson ordered her staff to move me, as well as the other isolated protesters, back to the ASU1 believing that the hunger strike was over. Before we were moved back, she sent an email to Lt. Cruz of 3A03 and asked him to read it to us. It contained a warning that she would not tolerate any more disturbances in the ASU1, and a threat that any such behavior would carry more severe reprisals.

After three weeks passed since the hunger strike was put on hold, it was clear that the prison officials had no intent to honor their word and keep their promises. The hunger strike resumed on 27 January 2012.

The ASU1 Lieutenant, after hearing that we resumed the protest, came to a few protestors and stated the following: "We are tired of you guys, all you guys, doing hunger strikes and asking for all this shit. I am not only speaking for myself, but for my superiors as well. There are correctional officers and staff getting laid off because the state doesn't have money, and you guys in here are asking for more shit? You know what, we don't care if you guys starve yourselves to death. You guys aren't getting shit. The only thing you'll get are incident packets."

Two days later, on 29 January 2012, Warden Gipson sent her staff again to round up the alleged "strike leaders" and place them in isolation. This time, the spokesmen who had previously come out to speak and negotiate with the prison officials regarding our demands were also included in that category. We were all moved once again to 3A03 psychiatric ward although we were not mentally ill. Furthermore, our visits were suspended by classification committee for the duration of our "involvement in the hunger strike," and we were issued another 115 for "inciting/leading a mass disturbance."

The retaliation did not stop there. All the participants of the hunger strike were issued 115s for "participation in a mass disturbance," and the most important of all, the correctional staff and prison officials were deliberately indifferent to the medical needs of the starved protestors in the ASU1. When some of the protestors started losing consciousness, experiencing serious pain, and requesting emergency medical attention, the correctional staff were deliberately slow in responding, and in many instances just simply ignored them. This conduct and this mindset, of prison officials to set an example by showing deliberate indifference to the medical needs of the protestors, directly contributed to the death of one of our own. His brave sacrifice and unfailing personal commitment will never be forgotten, nor will it have been for naught.

This is where they stand. The oppressors who take away our freedom and liberty continue to fight tooth and nail to deprive us of even our basic human rights. They employ brutal means of retaliation and suppression in an attempt to keep us from exposing the harsh truths of everyday life inside these prison walls. Although the ASU1 hunger strike may have ended, I will continue to have the spirit of resistance. The outcome will not be decided by a single battle but of many, and I will do my part in hopes that my small contribution may make a difference.

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [Political Repression]
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Organizing in the Face of Retaliation

The conditions under which we prisoners suffer must not go unchallenged by the public. I am targeted by prison staff with cold food, half portions of food, many times 1/4 portions of food, false incident reports written against me, and kept bound under the strict and harsh maximum security classification. I am a revolutionary, I study different methods and test theory from different schools of thought.

I was an activist in society (revolutionary) and I've helped to organize many communities. I now teach and organize the prisoners here, those who have a will to struggle against our current conditions. The organizing I teach is to serve our daily needs/human rights. The air conditioner is blowing full force half the winter, keeping it a cold and icy season. I openly work with all prisoners around our daily needs including protection from beatings by prison officials.

I use mostly methods from revolutionary books by mostly the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, David Hillard, Bobby Seale. These people gave their lives for the struggle. The text from this material has the power to transform minds. Education is a must.

Prison high ranking officials force prisoners to have sex in exchange for fair/humane treatment. I challenge all my fellow prisoners to stand against this oppression to join me in legally fighting it. Once again the prison officials increase the level of abuse, retaliation and torture against me to isolate and discourage others.


MIM(Prisons) replies: Retaliation against prisoners organizing for their rights is a common practice in the criminal injustice system. The best way to fight this is by building our movement. This comrade is right that we must educate and organize because the larger our forces the more difficult it will be to single out organizers for retaliation. The Black Panther Party literature provides important historical material that has relevance today. We encourage our comrades behind bars to also use MIM(Prisons) literature as an organizing tool. Under Lock & Key contains news and analysis to help educate and inspire prisoner organizing. Form study groups with others, share the newsletter, and contribute articles to help build this important resource.

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[Political Repression] [Gang Validation] [California Institution for Men] [California]
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CA Continues to Torture Blacks for Reading

Greetings Comrades. I'm reporting from the Correctional Institution for Men in Chino. The fascist pig COs (correctional officers) are trying to validate a fellow comrade because of books he had in his possession. First they attempted to get him to snitch on who gave him the books. Now Investigative Services Unit (ISU) is holding him in isolation "pending an investigation" accusing him of being a member of the Black Guerilla Family. All behind books he was reading! The books he had were on the Black Panther Party, anarchism, Che Guevara, the Symbionese Liberation Army, etc.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Recent struggles in California have focused on the so-called "gang validation" process used to put people in torture cells for years and even decades. This is just another example that the process is a thinly veiled tool of political repression. While the carrot offered to Blacks in the United $tates has gotten quite tasty for our generation, the state continues to target Blacks who are seeking political education or doing political organizing.

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