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[Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Revolutionary History] [Death Penalty] [ULK Issue 80]
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Redemption: A Tribute to Stanley "Big Tookie" Williams Sr.

As the assassination date of our redeemed comrade Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. approaches (December 13th), this will mark 17 years that our beloved brother, comrade, and C.R.I.P co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. was deliberately assassinated by the U.$. imperialist’s “Correctional Institute (Colony) Repressive Penal System.” It is our esteemed comrade Stanley “Big Tookie” Williams Sr. along with comrade Raymond Washington who founded the C.R.I.P.s in 1969. Stanley Big Tookie Williams ran the West Side Cribs (“Cribs” eventually became “CRIPS” by 1971) and comrade Raymond Washington ran the East Side CRIPS. There was a small neighborhood community after school center on the East Side of Los Angeles, California where comrade Raymond Washington and his friends hung out after school playing pool called the “Community Resource Inner City Project Service” (C.R.I.P.S).

From this Community Resource Inner City Project Service the “CRIPS” would form into a bastard party of the former remnants of the Black Panther Party (a community based nationwide Black nationalist organization who operated free breakfast programs in the poor disenfranchised sections of the ghettos and Brown barrios and promoted “self defense” against U.$. terrorist government sanctioned racial violence).

Originally when Raymond Washington and Big Tookie Williams joined up the East Side and West Side CRIPS were about protecting their communities against other “white” gangs who came into Black neighborhoods to start trouble and violence against Black people in general. The C.R.I.P.S. (Community Revolutionary Inter-Party Soldiers) promoted Community Revolution in Progress (C.R.I.P.) yet over the years ended up becoming a “self destructive” force which ended up being consumed by Black self-hatred and non-political violence.

Eventually Comrade Raymond Washington was murdered in the streets of East Side South Central Los Angeles. He was assassinated by a car of unknown assailants, in 1979. Comrade Stanley “Big Tookie” Williams was wrongfully framed by the U.$. government on gruesome murder charges that he did not commit (and in which he maintained his innocence up until his dying day). Big Tookie was falsely convicted by a racist court system and jury which ended up landing him on California’s Death Row at San Quentin State Prison in the early 1980’s.

Ten years prior to Stanley “Big Tookie” Williams’ arrival, San Quentin State Prison was the assassination scene of the bold, brilliant and beautifully courageous revolutionary activist, author and revolutionary theoretician Comrade George Lester Jackson on 21 August 1971. Jackson was moved to the Adjustment Center in San Quentin on murder charges of killing a Soledad correctional officer. 25 year old Officer Mills was beaten to death and thrown over a 30 ft. tier in Soledad Central “Y” Wing Facility. There was a note in Officer Mills pocket that said “One down 2 to go” in reference and in retaliation for 3 Black prisoners shot and killed in cold blood by a racist Soledad prison guard name Officer O.G. Miller. One of the dead convicts was W.L. Nolen, a close friend/mentor of Comrade George. In February 1970 George Jackson, John Clutchette and Fleeta Drumgo would formally be charged with the murder of Officer John Mills. Since Comrade George already was serving sentence of one year to life, death on a non-inmate under California law at that time meant an automatic death penalty for Comrade George, even though the state had no evidence that George Jackson, John Clutchette, or Fleeta Drumgo (who become known as the “Soledad Brothers”) killed Officer Mills.

George Jackson was an activist and revolutionary advocate of the prisoner class revolutionary movement, “Black family”, and August 7th movement founder – a movement he founded in remembrance, honor and in tribute to the death (murder) of his little 17-year-old brother Comrade Jonathan Jackson whom on 7 August 1970 took a bag full of guns into a courthouse in Marin County (not far from San Quentin State Prison where his brother Comrade George was housed). Brother Jonathan Jackson Sr. calmly took over a courtroom where three Black prisoners were on trial. Jonathan gave the three guns then took the Judge, District Attorney and 2 Jurors hostage demanding that the “Soledad Brothers” be released immediately in exchange for the hostages. Sad to say Jonathan never made it out of the parking lot as over 200 shots by Marin County Officers were unloaded into Jonathan’s Hertz rental van. Jonathan was murdered immediately.

The only sole survivors in the van with Jonathan was one of the three Black prisoners (Comrade Ruchell Magee - whom is still incarcerated to this very day despite his deteriorating health) and the District Attorney who was permanently paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.

A year and 2 weeks later on the 21st of August 1971 prison authorities concocted an outrageous story to justify the assassination of George Jackson. San Quentin Prison officials claimed that Comrade George tried to escape leading six other prisoners out of the adjustment center allegedly slicing three prison guards’ throats and killing two snitch prisoners. They claimed George Jackson had a gun and the guards assassinated Comrade George from the Gun Tower. The state (San Quentin Prison officials) deliberately murdered/assassinated Comrade George. Upon investigation, George would’ve beat his case had he went to trial and very well may have got out of prison. Check out Under Lock and Key No. 79 Winter 2022 article “History (and Myth) of a Comrade Should Inspire Us” Written by USW51 for more on Comrade George. It’s a very well written and detailed article.

How does this relate back to our Comrade Stanley “Big Tookie” Williams Sr.? Well there are a lot of apparent correlations connecting these two comrades beginning with the criminal “injustice” system and the systematic oppression and “judicial lynching” of both these wonderful Black Brothers (and of Black and Brown males in this U.$. imperialist country in general).

George Jackson entered the California Penitentiary System in 1960 with an indeterminate sentence of “one (1) year to life” for the conviction of a gas station robbery that resulted in the theft of $60.00. Even though evidence was in Jackson’s favor and Jackson adamantly professed his innocence of the crime, his court appointed attorney convinced Jackson that if he would only plead guilty to a lesser offense that he would receive some light county jail time, instead the racist court judge sentenced Jackson to prison for one year to life.

“CRIP” co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. up until the day of his assassination/execution proclaimed his innocence of the murder charges that he had been wrongly convicted of, yet the racist criminal injustice system with no real tangible evidence put Big Tookie Williams on trial and concocted lies in order to assassinate, execute and “judicially lynch” Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. because he was a threat to the upper status quo and had been amassing power (revolutionary potential and Black leadership skill/charisma) and was “leader” of a fast growing “C.R.I.P” - (Community Revolutionary International Party) which possessed major revolutionary potential. The U.$. government had to “contain” him since he could become a potential “Black messiah.” So just like Comrade Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt the U.$. government framed Stanley Tookie Williams Sr.

Comrade George Jackson while incarcerated became autodidactic (self taught); he studied Marx, Lenin, Mao, political science and political economy, Engels, Stalin, Huey. Jackson was made Black Panther Party ‘General/Field Marshall’ by Huey Newton while he was incarcerated he become “politically conscious,” reshaped and transformed his Black criminal mentality into a revolutionary mentality. Comrade George redeemed himself and achieved redemption through his willingness, determination, self discipline, self-taught education through books. Comrade George changed and reformed his criminal thinking, Jackson refused to participate in all “non-political” violence (gang mentality), George Jackson practiced a very special bastardized style of martial arts as well as Kung Fu called “Iron Palm” and worked out 6 to 8 hours a day doing “1000” fingertip pushups a day. Comrade George also authored two classic political treatises of Black revolutionary literature “Soledad Brother” and “Blood in my Eye” and one underground book titled “Communist Manifesto.” Jackson typed laboriously on his typewriter in his small prison cell, he wrote position papers that dealt with various political-socio issues such as prison life, economics, and the corrosion of Amerika’s military-prison industrial-corporate capitalist culture and circulated these papers throughout and outside prison walls.

For his political/revolutionary activities he was rewarded with isolation and segregation in Soledad’s “O”-wing administrative segregation unit and San Quentin’s A/C Lockup where often times his cell was “welded” with a lock shut. Once that proved not to be enough, he was set up to be killed.

Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. had undergone a very drastic revolutionary change after his imprisonment as well, a quite remarkable one. Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. was autodidactic, self-taught through reading and politically conscious. He also studied political science, economics, socio-behavior and psychology to better understand himself and his negative subconscious programming and “learned” behavior. Big Tookie Williams studied about the Black Panther Party, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Comrade George Jackson, Nelson Mandela, and Steve Biko. When Williams Sr. read the infamous “Willie Lynch Document” he was angered and shocked at how this white slave master from the Caribbean islands in the early 1700’s had managed to create such a nefarious, diabolical, cruel and methodical “self-hate” system (which would become known as the “plantation psychosis”) which would sink seeds of mistrust, and self hatred, and self-sabotage within our subconscious, unconscious minds that some 400 years later it is encoded in our (Black folk) culture and is the primary root of “Unkle Tom-ism” disunity, hatred, violence, mistrust and cowardice amongst our people, we were “programmed” negatively to behave this way with one another. The slaves were taught, whipped, beat, tamed, feathered, set on fire, lynched, pregnant Black women had their precious unborn fetuses cut out of their stomachs and stomped on in front of their faces by the white slave masters, and Big Tookie Williams, Comrade Raymond Washington and their peers and “rival” Black teens were just lashing out against one another out of fear, and “self-hate,” the “plantation psychosis” of Willie Lynch indoctrination. This was the source, the generations of negative subconscious programming fostering and festering within Black communities… This was the primary cause of his “Blue Rage.”

[Editor’s Note: While a powerful story that motivated Tookie and others, Willie Lynch is a myth. Uncle Toms are the natural outcome of the dialectic of oppression observed across cultures and time.]

While on San Quentin’s death row Big Tookie decided with utter conviction he would transform and change. Williams Sr. now being politically-socially revolutionary conscious sought “redemption” (“Black redemption”). Mr. Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. started writing several children’s books that taught peace, and strongly advocated and promoted diversion from joining gangs and drug abuse, peer pressure to help in steering children in a “positive”, productive, peaceful life in today’s society. Mr. Williams even took on a Kiswahili name (Ajamu Ajani) that reflected his cultural, mental, spiritual transformation. Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. was even allowed to conduct and operate a podcast from San Quentin’s State Prison’s death row to educate the public and youths across Amerika of the failures and downfalls of “gangbanging.” Big Tookie Williams used his own three hour phone calls on the tier to call and speak to youth in middle and high schools and interacting and most importantly patiently and sincerely answering any and all questions these students may have had (on his own time; even though he knew that his time was very limited).

Mr. Williams Sr. tried to teach peace and had helped organize the peace truces between the Bloods and Crips in the early 90’s. Mr. Williams published a sincere and very self critiquing, deeply introspective memoir before his assassination by the $tate called Blue Rage, Black Redemption. In fact, Jamie Foxx had played the part of Williams in a television movie, “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story.” Williams was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Bianca Jagger, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Judge Greg Mathis, Daz Dillinger and Jamie Foxx tried to gain a stay on his execution, but on 2005 December 13th, the U.$. government dealt a huge blow to gang peace truce leaders, and had California prison authorities at San Quentin State Prison execute/assassinate long-time ‘reformed’ death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. (Ajamu Ajani).

This goes on to prove without a doubt that the U.$. government and global white imperialist truly “fear” gangbangers and criminals becoming “revolutionary indoctrinated” and converting into “revolutionary political soldiers” fighting for the liberation of our oppressed New Afrikan people’s and all oppressed people’s throughout all colonies of North Amerikkka and globally. Those who are victims of “plantation psychosis,” imperialism, capitalistic avarice, racism, police brutality, and systematic oppression!

So it’s right now, right here that I give honor and tribute of remembrance to both of these redeemed political giants Comrade George Lester Jackson and our beloved Blue Dragon Comrade Stanley Tookie Williams Sr. as his “return to the essence” date approaches this 13 December 2022 (17 years) after his state/government sanctioned assassination.

Rest in Power Big Tookie


MIM(Prisons) adds: Tookie Williams dedicated one of his books to a list of mostly revolutionary figures, including George Jackson. This was one reason given by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to deny clemency for Tookie. Schwarzenegger said it indicated that he saw violence as a means to address societal problems, and then proceeded to use violence to kill Williams. Meanwhile, everything coming out of Tookie was about promoting peace, and gang truces, and getting kids out of gangs. As MIM Notes pointed out at the time of Tookie’s murder, it is hard to know where his ideology was at the time because the state literally had a gun to his head every time he spoke.(1)

Whether pacifist or revolutionary, there is no doubt that Tookie had abandoned the negative aspects of his past in order to serve his community and oppressed people around the world. As demonstrated so vividly in the book Prisoners of Liberation, this was the goal of prisons in socialist China, true reform.(2) And with true reform came redemption and reintegration into society. But not for Amerika, there is no redemption for the oppressed.

Tookie happened to be born into a neighborhood where the U.$. government was importing drugs and weapons to create chaos in response to the organizing of the Black Panther Party in cities like Los Angeles. Oliver North, who oversaw the Iran-Contra Scandal that brought cocaine to the streets of the United $tates while serving on the National Security Council, now serves as high-paid political commentator and appears on mainstream news shows these days, while Tookie was killed by the state.

Notes:
1. HC93, 14 December 2005, Tookie, Another Casualty of War, MIM Notes No. 329, January 2006.
2. Allyn Rickett and Adele Rickett, 1973, Prisoners of Liberation, Garden City, NY: Anchor Press. $8 from MIM Distributors.

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[Revolutionary History] [Black August] [Black Panther Party] [ULK Issue 79]
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History [and Myth] of a Comrade Should Inspire Us

Lumpen Study

This year marks the 51-year anniversary for the fallen comrade, BGF founder/leader, Black Panther General/Field Marshall and Dragon of Ho Chi Minh. This year also marks the 52 year anniversary of his alter ego, the man-child, snatched away too soon, Jonathon Jackson, whose brave revolutionary effort at only the age of 17 to free his older brother George Jackson from a legal lynching, can only be viewed with awe. Their stories of determination inspire the question of why the revolution has been snared, and to seek a newer and more improved method for the revolution that we new soldiers, guerrillas, and political scientists plan to usher into the near future.

This month of August (Black August) is dedicated to the fallen soldiers who bravely gave their lives to improve the quality of living of not only the Afrikan Amerikans who belong to the original man, but also to educate ourselves about the correct ways of living that the history of antiquity has provided us with. It is a time to internalize those lessons in a way that would help us to bridge the racial gaps and get us to do away with our class masters and black, brown, red (a variation of brown), yellow and white could live in a world that is free from the trifles that have destroyed humanity.

George Jackson was a very strong, intelligent, courageous, and dedicated brother whom the history books should teach us more about. For many, George’s career as a shining revolutionary leader ended about as quickly as it began. However, those exist outside of the mainstream corporativism politics know well that George lived and existed as a legend long before the Soledad Brother case that would make him famous.

George Jackson entered the California penitentiary system in 1960 with an indeterminate sentence of one year to life, for the conviction of a service station robbery that resulted in the theft of $70.00. Though the evidence was in his favor, his court appointed attorney convinced Jackson that if he would only plead guilty to a lesser offense that he would receive some light county time. However, through a change of hands, his deal that was promised would result of his conviction and an indeterminate sentence that then in California would prove often times volatile because it was up to a parole board if you ever went home. A system that was heavily racist and extremely dangerous, proved to be fertile grounds of an indeterminate sentence of one to life, becoming life or in George’s case the death penalty.

The author of 2 classic pieces of Black literature that could be used as a treatise of sorts, George laid out the harsh realities of California’s prison system. The atmosphere was so openly racist that whites were even working hand in hand to kill Black and Mexican prisoners, even though ironically enough, just like in Texas some Mexicans would make alliances with racist organizations and join in killing Blacks. Through these activities George felt the need to organize what he called “the chief of staff” and that chief of staff that organized to combat the killing of Black prisoners would later on become what is now known as the Black Guerrilla Family, a revolutionary group that George attempted to align to the revolutionary movements not only in Amerika, but also in Cuba and other Third World nations. In a nutshell George agreed with International Communist Solidarity.

An avid reader, George transformed himself from an adolescent, rebellious street gangster, to a revolutionary leader and prison activist whose knowledge about history, economics, and politics, would make college professors marvel at his intellect. But this is also part of the larger reason why he was never paroled. You see, the sentence that George had, at the most allowed for a convict to do 2 years and then be paroled, but it was this political insight at a time were Black male expression was denied. Not only Black male expression, but at a time when George found communism, Amerika was trying its best to crush this red scare. So his knowledge of capitalist Amerika was that great that prison officials went to the extremes of trying to kill him. Their line to whites was “kill Jackson it will do you some good.” However as gifted as he was mentally and intellectually, he was also gifted as a self-trained guerrilla assassin. George practiced a very special bastardized style of martial arts and kung-fu called iron palm and he worked out 6 to 7 hours a day doing 1000 finger tips a day.

Typing laboriously on a prison typewriter, Jackson wrote position papers that dealt with prison life, economics, and the corrosion of Amerika’s corporate capitalist culture and circulated these papers throughout prison walls. For his activities, he was first rewarded with segregation, often times with a welded lock. Once that proved to not be enough, he was set up to be killed. But since he was a fierce warrior, oftentimes even fighting for other prisoners who were the victim of racial assaults, he would fight single-handedly 5 or 6 prisoners and come out on top. At this point the white prisoners and officers hated but feared him.

George was loved and respected by the Black prisoner population and became their teacher and leader. Even the most racist whites respected George because to them he was a man who was totally straight. All while others would murder mouth and sell wolf tickets, George was as good as his word. If he made a statement of some kind, it would always be followed by action. George formed a political education class and through that he gave his comrades the revolutionary platform that would transform their Black criminality into a Black revolutionary mentality. He also taught martial arts at a time where martial arts was outlawed in prison.

His commitment was so great that during a prison protest that led to some white inmates trying to actually lynch a Black demonstrator under the order of racist cops, when George saw all of these white guys about to push this brother off of a 30 ft. tier, he began punching, kicking, and knocking those guys off the tier. However, for this, he, not the white inmates, was locked up. It was only later on that prison officials would admit that he stood up for a brother about to be hung.

In 1969, the California parole board who had been stringing George along for years, but who had no intentions of ever releasing him, told him that he was going to be transferred from San Quentin to Soledad and that if he maintained clean conduct for 6 months he would be granted parole. Soledad was a racist penitentiary that stoked the flames between prisoners, and that ignited racial animosity to build to murder. George, as a “class based” revolutionary always strove to get the convict class to see that they could easily overcome their oppressors if they would only unite, because by playing at racism the law would essentially win since it would only be 2 maniac groups at war.

On 13 January 1970 after months of lockdown due to racial killings, a new rec yard was opened. A system where Blacks, whites, and Mexicans are to remain segregated from each other, a so-called “mistake” took place and 7 Blacks and 8 white were led to the rec yard where predictably a fight broke out. The officer’s job is to give a warning shot. However, officer O.G. Miller with a military background, southern upbringing, and racist attitude shot and killed 3 Black prisoners in cold blood. One of the dead was George’s close friend and mentor W.L. Nolen. Three days after these killings the Monterey County Courthouse, over prison radios, announced that these killings were justifiable homicide. In less that 30 minutes later anger would turn into redemption as 25-year-old officer Mills was beaten to death and thrown over a 30 ft. tier with a note in his pocket that said “one down 2 to go.”

In February, George Jackson, John Clutchette, and Fleeta Drumgo would be formally charged for the officers death even though they had no evidence outside of their prison files that labeled them as Black revolutionaries. According to prison officials, George was blamed because he was the only person who could have done it. Hardly enough in the area of evidence, it finally gave the state the legal pretext to do what they had been trying to do quasi-legally for years. If George was convicted it meant death since he already had life.

When George received visits from his family they would bring his younger brother Jonathan and the two of them would get off to one side of the visiting room where George would do his job as an educator and at the age of 16 Jonathon had a remarkable insight into guerrilla warfare, communism, and uniterian conduct locally and globally. His love for his brother made him grow-up. He saw that they never intended to let his brother go. At a time when most teens are thinking about self-gratification, Jonathon could only think of George. He said “people tell me that I’m too involved with the movement and my brother’s case, but I have one question to ask people who think like this, ‘What would you do if it was your brother?’”.

George and Angela Davis became somewhat of a power couple and George appointed Jonathan to be her bodyguard. After being fired from UCLA as a professor, just because she identified with communism, George feared that some right-wing nut might feel like a hero by killing her. It was around this time that the state asserts that Angela Davis provided the weapons that Jonathan Jackson would use on 7 August 1970 when he took a bag full of guns to a courthouse in Marin County and passed the out to 3 prisoners on trial. Calm and cold he stated “alright gentlemen I’m taking over now” and “you can take our pictures, we are the revolutionaries.” At the young age of 17 Jonathan had sense enough that the only way he could affirm justice was through a bold act that would take his life.

A year and 2 weeks later on 21 August 1971 prison authorities would concoct the most outrageous story ever invented to justify the assassination of one of our most gifted leaders, George Jackson. The state “asserts” that after a visit with his attorney Stephen Bingham that George had a metallic item in his hair that proved to be a gun that he used to gain control of the Adjustment Center after he said these chilling words “The dragon has come.” The absurdity is that when they reenacted this in a court, they affirmed that George’s cell was 50 yards away from the visiting room at San Quentin, a highly sophisticated, technological prison. And when they reenacted how it would’ve taken place they said “the gun wobbled dangerously”, meaning that it couldn’t have happened that way. At best if George did end up with a weapon he must have wrestled it away from his assassins.

But the kicker is “they say” George had explosives that he intended to blow a 20 ft wall away and escape. “They say” that George ran towards a wall and was shot in his ankle that was immediately shattered, yet somehow he managed to get up and run again and a second shot was fired that entered his back and exited his head. However, what “they say” again proved to be a lie as autopsy proved that the shots that were fired couldn’t have come from a high position as they assert, but rather from the ground.

Now why such an outrageous story for this situation? I mean to me, even though I feel very sorry for Georgia Bea Jackson as she lost 2 sons within a year, I still can’t help but admit that if he went out as the state asserts, it even more adds to his legend. Killing 5 people in the span of 30 seconds (which is impossible) before being killed is remarkable. But upon investigation, if George would’ve went to trial and beat his case, he very well may have been released from prison. So instead of us believing in government created conspiracies, we need to question the facts. In love and revolution, may George and Jonathon both rest within the essence, while they continue to live through people like me and countless others.

Peace to those who don’t fear freedom

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[Revolutionary History] [New Afrika] [California] [ULK Issue 79]
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Rest in Power Shaka At-Thinnin

I was just made aware of the passing of Shaka At-Thinnin via the Black August Organizing Committee, of which the comrade was a lead member of. We are losing a generation of New Afrikans right now. The ones who survived the most brutal oppression of the U.$. injustice system to live long lives.

Of course brutal oppression remains in the U.$. concentration camps to this day. The torture units that were developed in response to the resistance of brothers like Shaka are still in full operation across most of this country.

The comrades who started Black August responded to this repression with collective self-defense, an immense openness and love for the oppressed, and a sharp discipline. Discipline is one of the tenets of Black August. And it is one that i think we can all benefit from. It can be hard to impose strict discipline when it is not out of necessity or dire circumstances as it was for the founders. But studies have shown that the more you practice discipline the easier it becomes, in all aspects of your life. Little routines, little extra efforts, regaining little chunks of time to put it towards what you care about.

Struggling to spend a couple hours writing to prisoners, or handing out fliers, or studying political economy after working all day for exploiter wages is not as glorious as the struggles of some. Yet it is no less important. Shaka emself spent many evenings writing comrades inside after eir release from prison. I’ve had people come to me years later and tell me how a small action, a few words, or a magazine shared really impacted them. You will never know all the impacts you have if you put in work to reach others every day, every week, or even every month.

Shaka did not live to see the liberation of New Afrika, yet eir contribution was still great and continues to inspire us. When i was younger i had read George Jackson’s books, and knew the story of Jonathan Jackson, and studied the Attica rebellion. But it was only after meeting Shaka and Kumasi of the Black August Organizing Committee that I got a real understanding of what Black August was about, and what the New Afrikan resistance in California prisons at the time was like. Their work to preserve that history and share it with the world helps sustain the struggle into the future.

In my years in this movement i’ve had the privilege of meeting many elders of the generation of the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Each one of them inspired me, even if our interactions were brief. What they’d been through and how they responded was a testament to the potential of struggle, and the strategic confidence that we hold in the oppressed majority of the world who have nothing to lose but their chains.

The world is in constant flux. People come, people go. Empires die. The climate changes. And through it all we know that the oppressed nations are the rising force in the imperialist world today. And that force will eventually seize power from the current oppressors and change the course of history.

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[Revolutionary History] [Puerto Rico] [U.S. Imperialism] [Drugs] [Militarism] [ULK Issue 79]
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The Common Colonial History That Led Us Here

Free Puerto Rican POWs

For Afrikan people in the United $tates, captivity began in Afrika when we were captured and confined in slave forts like the Gold Coast’s Elmina and Goree Island’s “House of Slaves”. From those colonial forts we left Afrika in chains and shackles through the “Door of No Return” and we were transported to the Americas in the bowels of slave ships. Afrikans were dropped off in various places around around the world, and what is now referred to as North America, in chains and colonized here to work as slaves on the plantations of the settler-colonies of European imperialists.

As slaves we were chattel owned as private property, becoming the first commodity that gave rise to a global colonial-capitalist system. Slavery was absolute captivity with complete deprivation of life. The only means by which Afrikans could seek freedom was by revolt or escape, which is something we’ve struggled to do since our first initial capture from our homeland.

Colonizers’ plantations were forced labor camps where Afrikans slaved in the fields and were housed in hovels and fed slop. We were forced to work day in and day out, suffering severe beatings and some of the greatest acts of cruelty to force our submission. If we escaped, we were hunted and tracked by slave catchers with guns and bloodhounds. Once caught, we were brought back to the plantation from which we fled. Escaping slavery was a crime that was punishable by flogging and lashing, branding, mutilation and death. After 13 of the settler-colonies within North America consolidated into the “United States,” slavery was expanded to new territories as the colonizers continued stealing more Indigenous land, or killing them, like the case in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. It continued to reap the filthy lucre of the dirty business of the flesh-peddling slave-trade and the human trafficking of slavery until slavery was finally abolished after the Civil War – an intra-conflict between two rival settler-colonialist groups – the Union versus the Confederacy. With the abolition of slavery, Afrikans ceased to be formally held as slaves, but we remained colonial subjects all the same as colonialism continued to rule and regulate every aspect of our lives through the brutal exploitation of our labor through sharecropping, peonage and court-leasing.

As we have seen, U.$. administrators – Republican and Democrat alike – asserted their right to interfere directly in the domestic affairs of countries in Central America and the Caribbean for the sake of “national interest”. One island nation, however, remained under permanent Amerikan control. Puerto Rico became part of the United States as a result of the Spanish Amerikan War. In July 1898, in retaliation for the sinkage of the U.S. vessel Maine in Cuba, Amerikan troops disembarked in Puerto Rico, instigating the country’s first act of European-style colonial expansion. The island thus became the pawn in a war between Cuban patriots and Spanish garrisons. It had not expected military occupation, quite the contrary, Spain had already agreed to grant Puerto Rico autonomy and to devise some sort of “house rule” for the island. The U.S. invasion changed all of this. Suddenly, Puerto Rico became a crucial factor in U.S. global strategy – not only because of its potential for investment and commerce, but also because of its geopolitical role in consolidating U.S. naval power.

But there remains a basic question: Why did the U.S. take Puerto Rico as a colony while helping Cuba achieve independence?? The difference may well reside in the histories of the two islands. There was a large standing armed insurrectionary movement against Spain in Cuba. Puerto Rico, however, was on the way to a negotiated settlement and could present less resistance to outside forces. Puerto Rico thus became caught in a complex struggle between major powers and Cuba’s insurgents.

During the colonial period, the island had served as a supporting military garrison and commercial center for Spain, roles that intensified as the slave trade reached its peak in the 1700’s. Sugar production became the predominant agricultural enterprise. There were also small farmers, jibaros, rugged individuals who cultivated staple crops and helped maintain a diversified economy. Because of this, the slave population always remained a minority. After 1898 residents of the island had no clear status of our land. In 1917 they were granted citizenship in the U.S. due to W.W.I. In 1947, nearly half a century after the invasion, Puerto Rico was permitted to attempt self-government. In 1952 the island was granted “commonwealth” status within the United States. Puerto Rico at this moment is the oldest colony in the world.

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. constitution, often believed to have formally abolished slavery, simply limited slavery, making it a punishment for crime, and that punishment was imprisonment.

Therefore, slavery became a penal servitude and prisoners became “slaves of the colonial state”. Prisons became slave labor camps and being sentenced to prison was to be forced to do “hard labor”. It was a sentence of forced labor in addition to a term of imprisonment. This was where the term “hard labor” came from. As a direct result of black codes developed specifically for our people, Afrikans were arrested for petty violations of those codes (other ethnic groups of minority also: Latinos) and sent to prison where we not only toiled in slave labor camps and worked in chain gangs, but were also contracted out to private companies to work for railroads, mines and mills.

We became the new slaves in a new convict lease system that was created by colonial capitalism so that it could acquire a steady supply of cheap labor to exploit for the greatest profit without paying for that labor because we were slaves of the state. After enduring the captivity of forced chattel slavery, Afrikans began to endure the captivity of imprisonment under colonialism. We went from being slaves on plantations to convicts in prison.

Colonialist law was established and created to protect the colonial system and primarily criminalize and punish Afrikans and other colonized peoples – Latinos.

During the Black Revolution of the 1960’s, the police arrested and jailed Afrikans such as Fannie Lou Hamer for “civil disobedience”. They arrested Huey P. Newton and Geronimo Pratt on trumped-up charges. At that time the voices of Puerto Ricans to be recognized as a nation joined hands with the Black revolution in the struggle against the U.S. empire. Oscar Lopez, Alejandro Torres, Antonio Camacho, and many more were railroaded to prison. The FBI asassinated leaders like Malcom X, Dr Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Hampton through COINTELPRO. In 2005, Filiberto Ojeda Rios, leader of EPB “Eercito Popular Boricua” better known as the Macheteros, was assassinated in Puerto Rico by FBI agents. Those who were captured and thrown in prison became political prisoners and prisoners of war.

At the height of the Black Revolution, the CIA flooded Afrikan colonies (to the United States Puerto Rico is considered another Afrikan Colony) with heroin from the golden triangle in southeast Asia where it had long worked to finance its covert operations against China at the same time the U.S. was waging a war of imperialist aggression in Vietnam. With this process of narcotization our communities fell completely under control and influence of drugs: the illegal drug business and drug traffickers began a deadly epidemic of addiction. The war on drugs was escalated by Ronald Reagan with the beginning of the crack epidemic, started after the CIA flooded the Afrikan community with the drugs from Central America, funding dirty wars against Nicaragua. It led to increased militarization of the police, tougher drug laws, and the greatest prison build-up in history. Afrikans and Latinos became the main causalities of that war.

As prisoners, we are just bodies that fill cells in prisons, situated in economically depressed rural areas, producing jobs for settlers.

Today, Amerika has the largest prison system in the world. More Afrikans are now convicts in prison in 2022 than they were slaves on the plantation in 1852, and hardly have any more rights than we had when we were slaves.

Crime simply provides the justification for locking us up behind the razor-wire electrified fences. Imprisonment is an integral and indispensable part of the colonization and of Afrikans and Latinos in the United $tates. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, my father a black Puerto Rican and my Mother a white Puerto Rican; as colonial subjects we have always been captives of Colonialism.

The imprisonment in the U.S. will only end when we throw off the chains of colonial-capitalism and free ourselves from the rule of the colonizer.

We, all minorities, Blacks, Latinos, etc need to come together under the same line of thinking – I encourage every one to educate yourself, know your history, know your past, know your culture. It doesn’t matter how dark the color of your skin is, what state or country you’re from, in prison there’s only two uniforms – the prisoners and the guards – remember always which one you wear. The only way to beat this monster is by uniting, and come together as one body.

ALL Power to the People!

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[Revolutionary History] [Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 78]
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Black Power Black August

When brother Malcolm X died,
I died inside,
When Fred Hampton died,
I became revived,
When George Jackson died,
I blooded in my eyes,
When Huey P. died,
I revolutionized
and realized,
I’m Toussaint, Garvey and Stokely,
Turner, Biko, Prosser and Vessey,
Fanon, Cabral, Lumumba, Sankara,
Ruchell, Jonathan, McClain and Christmas.
My godesses are: Truth Sojourner,
Harriett Tubman, Candos, Kween Nzinga,
Angela, Ericka, Afeni and Assata,
and all the MOVE comrades
Last name Afrika.
I’m MLM to the fullest,
Anti-CIWPS, Anti-misogynist
All the way feminist, egalitarianist,
Lumpen proletarian, street reactionary
Turned radical internationalist
Revolutionary intercommunalist,
My oath is with Mother Earth
Climate Justice.
A prisoner, yeah,
But I’m not the real criminal,
Not the one making the policies,
Which creates poverty for capital
Thus, creating crime and immorality,
which are mostly survivalist, reactionary,
miseducated responses and reactions
to CIPWS miseducation and poverty.
Till we, as a People
Start taking politics personal
We will keep being the victims
of the real criminals, the real parasiticals,
The plutocrats,
Republikkklans and Demoncrats,
Working only in the interest of the tall hats
while their Plutocrat Imperialist Goons
Keep lynching us.
Then they wonder why,
We’re getting politically conscious
Self-defensive and rebellious
Screaming,
All Power to the People, from the soul
Screaming, All Power to the Proles,
Black Power, Black August
Black essential self-determination,
Our number one goal,
Only us could free us,
Black Power as a whole.
Black Power, Black August,
Black essential self control.
Black Power, Black August,
Breaking the mental and physical holds.
Black Power Black August
Black Power Black August.
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[Control Units] [Revolutionary History] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 78]
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Rest in Power: Principal Thinker, Peace Maker, New Afrikan Revolutionary Paul Redd

Paul Redd memorial
Memorial for Paul Redd in Oakland, California

As comrades in Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere took action to protest long-term solitary confinement and mass incarceration this Juneteenth, we lost a leader in the struggle against solitary confinement and oppression in all forms in California. Paul Redd passed away on 19 June 2022. His funeral was July 9th in Oakland, Calfornia.

Redd was a New Afrikan Revolutionary, an author, and a principal thinker behind the development of the 2012 Agreement to End Hostilities(AEH) across California prisons. The AEH preceded an historical campaign against Security Housing Units(SHU) that included the largest prison hunger strikes in history.

Statement from Paul Redd’s family

“Paul Redd left us on Juneteenth. A hero to so many, he was loved by so many communities: from his childhood friends in Oakland, to his family who has always been with him, to decades-long friendships from the inside, to the many friends he made in his two years home after 44 years of wrongful incarceration, including 30 in solitary. He will be remembered for his infinite love, his courage, strength, generosity, hope, his poetry, and passion for justice. We love you Paul!”

Words from Redd’s comrades:

“Paul Redd’s passing is heartfelt for many as he was a staunch advocate of Black Love and Solidarity. His dedication and commitment to freedom of himself and other prisoners made him a target of the State and thereby a political prisoner. I spent prison time with Paul in Tracy and San Quentin, and know of his years of selfless service in the Black Guerrilla Family. As a soldier for the liberation of his people, he will be sorely missed in the field of battle opposing white supremacy and the tyranny of capitalism-imperialism. Paul, I salute you!!!” – Jalil Muntaqim

"He taught honor and respect to so-called thugs and ‘hood niggas’ and showed them how to respect and give concern for each other in such a way, thereby the world would come to respect and honor them. He also taught them to be young Lions and soldiers for all seasons. I was one of those young soldiers that he taught. And I was one of those young warriors that had grown with the example that he gave me. I stand now as an eternal witness to the teachings that this Brotha imparted to me, the political education. He taught me to refuse. He showed and taught me how to stand and not bend, buck or bow before the murderers who held us captive in Amerikkka’s concentration camps.

“…This Brotha, his spirit lives forever. I’m Brotha Balagoon Kambone, a Brotha and a friend.”

see more here: Friends and Comrades of the Prisoner Human Rights Movement, 27 June 2022, “Songs of tribute to Paul Redd, home with the ancestors”, The San Francisco Bay View, Vol 47, No 7.

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[Revolutionary History] [Idealism/Religion] [Economics] [ULK Issue 78]
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Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación, Salvador Puig Antich, and The Labor Aristocracy

The Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación (MIL) was an anti-capitalist group consisting of both anarchists and communists that was active between 1971-1973 in the fascist state of Spain under Franco. The group was unique in that, unlike most revolutionary organizations, it was not centralized. MIL did not believe that a centralized group could be revolutionary. They insisted that a centralized group was synonymous with a party and that a party could not achieve social revolution because a party, by necessity, seeks to gain state power and then strengthen its position. The strengthening of state power – any state power – weakens the revolution.

MIL Line and History

MIL was internationalist in scope and honored the memory and history of various class struggles around the globe. Including, but not limited to: the Iberian class struggle, the Revolution of 333 Days in Hungary, the November Revolution in Germany, and the Bavarian Council Republic. They also had ties to anti-capitalist organizations outside of Spain, especially in France. In addition to it’s internationalist practices, they also collaborated extensively with other revolutionary organizations in Spain (most notably the GAC and OLLA).

The main element of MIL’s revolutionary action was the expropriation of funds from the capitalists through armed agitation. They would spread the expropriated money around the anti-capitalist movement to help further other clandestine operations as well as support worker’s struggles, families of prisoners, and victims of the police. A good chunk of these expropriated funds were invested in the library that MIL helped create called the Ediciones Mayo del 37. The purpose of this library was to publish and distribute revolutionary texts that could help raise the political consciousness of the working class.

Another important aspect of MIL was its support of women’s struggles against patriarchy. They claimed that any group that did not support such struggles were not revolutionary, for it was impossible to fight against capitalism and remain blind to the oppression and exploitation of women in capitalist society. Therefore, any organization that did not support women’s struggles were purposely ignoring their plight, and thus, could not be called revolutionary. Furthermore, MIL advocated revolution across all aspects of society: social, cultural, sexual, familial, and political. Revolution is not partial to any part of society; revolution effects society in its entirety. MIL did not consider itself a vanguard of the revolution – in fact, they opposed the very idea of a vanguard. Which is why they engaged in armed agitation rather than armed struggle.

“‘Armed agitation’ is wholly different from the strategy of ‘armed struggle’, in which a specialized group acts as the vanguard of the movement by constituting the nucleus of a future army…serving as the military wing of a clandestine political party…or by carrying out the most spectacular actions and using its position to attempt to influence and direct a mass movement…on the contrary, the groups that carry out armed agitation understand themselves to be simply a part of a bigger movement, increasing that movement’s capacity for communication, self-defense, and self-financing by organizing and funding clandestine printing, attacking the forces of repression, and expropriating money from capitalists…They also seek to generalize their practice rather than centralize it, distributing weapons among the lower classes and encouraging the horizontal proliferation of armed groups.” (1)

The core reason why MIL was opposed to armed struggle and the philosophy of the need for a vanguard was because they believed that nobody but the proletariat could liberate the proletariat. The idea that the proletariat needed an external group to lead or liberate them went against everything that MIL fought for and believed in. The members of MIL did not think of themselves as heroes of the people. They believed that their role in the anti-capitalist struggle was to act in ways that would help the working-class become politicized and then liberate themselves. As mentioned previously, the way that MIL thought best to achieve their purpose was through the expropriation of funds. By the time that MIL dissolved in September 1973, they had expropriated 24 million Pesetas from capitalists.

Ultimately, MIL dissolved itself after it had reached a point where the members could no longer consider their actions as revolutionary. Although MIL opposed specialization they found that they had become an organization that practiced specialization. They had done so inadvertently by continuously engaging in armed agitation without developing a political line that could explain and support their action to the masses. Just as theory – political line – needs to be supported by practice, so too does practice need to be supported by theory. The lack of one diminishes the other.

Initially, a Congress was held by the members of MIL to seek a solution that could save the group. In the end, they decided to dissolve; in part because their actions had failed to inspire the proletariat to engage in open class warfare. They decided that, at that time, the working class was not sufficiently politically conscious and that their main objective should be to politicize the masses through propaganda until the time came when armed agitation was necessary.

Salvador Puig Antich

The most famous member of MIL was, by far, Salvador Puig Antich. Salvador was born on 30 May 1948 in Barcelona. He began rebelling against authority figures in his youth and was once expelled from school for punching a teacher in defense of another student. Although he was involved in the worker’s struggles in his youth, he did not engage in revolutionary actions until he joined MIL during the summer of 1972. He participated in his first bank robbery on October 21st of the same year (acting as the getaway driver), and the action resulted in the expropriation of 990,200 Pesetas from the Laietana Saving Bank. Shortly after that Salvador began to carry a gun and go into banks himself.

He was a committed anti-capitalist who identified as an anarchist. Although he didn’t join MIL until it had been active for a year, he quickly became a prominent figure within the organization. He authored several texts that were circulated among the members of MIL. The purpose of these texts was to formulate discussion about various topics relevant to the organization and the revolution.

On 25 September 1973 Salvador was in a shootout with the police. During the altercation he was shot twice and one officer was killed. After the incident occurred he was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries; when he was determined to be in stable condition he was transferred to Modelo prison to await trail. On 9 January 1974 he was given the death penalty.

Although capitalists have attempted to portray Salvador as a degenerate criminal, the truth cannot be denied: he was a true revolutionary. He never denied his actions and always maintained that everything he did, he did in the name of the anti-capitalist struggle. His every action, his every thought, was centered toward the abolition of the state and the state apparatus. He never capitulated. He stayed true to the revolutionary struggle until the bitter end.

On 2 March 1974 Franco’s fascist state executed Salvador Puig Antich via garrot vil [editor: a chair that is used to strangle people to death]. He was 25 years old. Even though MIL did not develop a sufficient political line and dissolved after only two years of revolutionary action, it should by no means be forgotten. Both MIL and Salvador Puig Antich have influenced countless people in Spain to engage in revolutionary struggle. And, importantly, MIL advanced the theory of the Labor Aristocracy in a time when few did. Even today few recognize that in places like the United States of America, the proletarian class has ceased to exist and a new class has risen in its place; a parasitic class that benefits from the exploitation of the working class in the Third World. This parasitic class is the Labor Aristocracy.

MIL on the Labor Aristocracy

The same day that Salvador was executed Oriol Solé wrote the following from Modelo prison:

“In the United States, in Europe, under the rule of the superpowers, the proletariat has disappeared. Society has engendered a new social class that creates surplus, accumulates capital, and at the same time grows bloated on the surplus generated by millions of wage workers in the poor countries. A new class that builds itself a paradise paid for with the blood of the exploited poor of Africa, Asia and Latin America.” (2)

MIL’s line regarding the Labor Aristocracy was spot on, but several of their positions were flawed. For example, MIL viewed a vanguard as synonymous with a party and argued that any party would seize state power and strengthen its position. They held that no party could be revolutionary because the point of revolution is to abolish the state and the state apparatus.

This is an anarchist view and cannot lead to revolution. The anarchist believes that you should abolish the state and its apparatus immediately. While their concern about a new power oppressive power arising is a valid one, the communist recognizes the impracticality of combating strong class enemies without a state power and acknowledges that an intermediary stage between capitalism and communism is necessary – this stage being socialism. The socialist stage gradually diminishes until the state no longer exists. Only then can communism been achieved.

Another flaw is MIL’s view regarding the vanguard. They did not believe one was necessary and actively spoke against the creation of one. However, history has shown us that not only do vanguards work, but they are necessary to carry out a revolution. Three such examples are the centralized vanguards led by Mao, Castro, and Lenin. All of which carried out successful revolutions. Without their vanguards, those revolutions would not have occurred.

Yet, even with obvious flaws in their political theory, the MIL should not be thrown on the ash heap of history. Both MIL and Salvador Puig Antich are famous in Spain for their revolutionary legacy. But they are little known elsewhere. We should remember Salvador for his revolutionary actions, beliefs, and ultimate sacrifice. He lived for the people and he died for the people. Likewise, we should not let the MIL fall through the cracks of history. In the two short years of its existence, its actions shook the foundations of Spain, and surprisingly, it did so without killing. The only death attributed to MIL was that officer killed during the shootout with Salvador. MIL directly contributed to the worker’s struggles and did not seek to control or direct the proletariat for personal gain.

Every anti-capitalist revolutionary should remember Salvador Puig Antich and MIL and celebrate their legacy every March 2nd – the anniversary of Salvador’s death.

  1. Salvador Puig Antich: Collected Writings on Repression and Resistance in Franco’s Spain; by Ricard de Vargas Golarons; translated by Peter Gelderloos; pg.16
  2. ibid; pg.159

MIM(Prisons) adds: The story of MIL becoming specialized when they opposed specialization echoes the lesson of Jo Freeman’s The Tyranny of Structurelessness. This essay is included in our study pack on organizational structure, for those who want to dive deeper into the Maoist line on this topic.

While MIL grasped the economic realities of the imperialist countries at an early stage of history, like many others they failed to answer the question of how to organize for the end of oppression in these conditions. This has been a question that many similar groups in the First World took to similar conclusions, leading to dissolution. MIM attempts to answer these questions by recognizing the fact that armed struggle is not viable against a strong imperialist state, and the need to be a mass-based movement. We cannot expect huge or flashy actions at this stage of the struggle, and we must build the infrastructure and educate the cadre for when conditions change. Time is on our side.

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[Revolutionary History] [Civil Liberties] [Censorship] [Security] [Texas] [ULK Issue 76]
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A Message to the Movement

In the forthcoming piece We would like to point out the particular inter-connectedness of many of the enemy-states’ recent counter-offensive to Our collective progress. When We speak to ‘progress,’ we’re speaking to the strategic goal of establishing a national prison movement - a revolutionary oriented prison movement. A national revolutionary prison movement that is intrinsically connected with a national revolutionary oriented united front on the outside. In this piece We’ll attempt to illuminate to the reader that recent and present ‘security’ and censorship methods enacted by the enemy-state are indeed counter-offensives and are intrinsically inter-connected both outside and inside.

Any conscious observer will readily concede that in recent years, particularly within the prisons across the empire there has been an increase in censorship tactics. In some cases these methods border on extreme.

For all intents and purposes We can understand that the current prison movement took its first primitive steps forward towards nationalization with the hystoric hunger strikes organized in California from 2011-2013. The underlying blueprint for these actions, the Agreement to End Hostilities, showcased the way forward for many around the empire. Furthermore, and what’s harder to measure, is the amount of inspiration that those actions initiated.

We have a small window into this reality, as it has been recorded that prison officials in other states, by the advent of the third and final strike, began pleading with CDCR to settle the issues the comrades in Califas raised, as they had began dealing with similar unrest in their state’s prisons.

Here it may be necessary to pinpoint that the prison movement as We know it today didn’t begin in 2011. Rather there have been other organizations that have connected the functions of prison to the human rights movement. A notable organization is the Human Rights Coalition led by elder BLA and BPP veteran political prisoner/prisoner of war Russel Maroon Shoatz. [Rest in Power, Shoatz died on 17 December 2021, at age 78, less than 2 months after eir release from prison with cancer.] However, beginning with the Califas hunger strikes there was a substantial qualitative leap forward in both participation and interest, inside and outside countrywide.

Moving forward towards the 2016 National Prison strike; the collective action, along with its subsequent 2018 sequel, did wonders in nationalizing the Prison Human rights movement gaining corporate media attention and subsequently grasping the attention of previously uninterested parties. Some of these parties were prison officials, C.O. unions, police unions, and others intrinsically woven into the criminal injustice apparatus. Others were concerned persyns: a new generation of abolitionists began to spring up, usually deriving from the college campus sector. The spokesperson of the national prison strikes, Sis. Amani Sawari, along with imprisoned activists within key organizations like Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks, Free Alabama Movement, and many in Califas helped bring the key “Ten Demands” of the National Prison strike to the mainstream as these issues began to be debated among presidential candidates throughout 2019 and 2020.

Before We move on it is important to pinpoint here that the Prison Human Rights Movement, has had and continues to have much stratification within its ranks. The first and major stratification point derives from differences in political line surrounding the role of the movement.

Similar to the days of the Civil Rights movement, when the question of ‘non-violence’ was seen by some as a philosophical or theological commitment, while for others it was simply a tactic, one to be discarded if/when it proved un-useful. The current prison movement has many of the same components. While there are many more revolutionary oriented groups/persyns who see the success of the prison movement with the advent of voting rights, or other prison reforms. Instead many of these groups agree that prisons can not be reformed, as it is an intrinsic part of the state apparatus. These groups agree that revolutionary consciousness and commitment are the most meaningful things that can come of the prison movement.

Simultaneously, in recent years there has been an upsurge in radical activity on the outside. Much like in the prison movement there are many youthful combatants, and much decentralized activities. The fact that these movements have risen parallel among each other should not be considered a coincidence, nor should the corresponding and parallel counter-offensives be seen as unrelated coincidences.

As BlackLivesMatter and abolitionist praxis protests arose around the country, particularly in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, reactionary lawmakers (persuaded by reactionary constituents) began implementing new repressive laws to quell protest. Federal lawmakers, led by the Trump-Pence duo led the way and most states followed suit. Such laws, or rather counter-offensives, included making the blocking of traffic, as had been done repeatedly in recent years, a first degree felony. In states like Tekkk$a$ that means that such protests would be punishable with sentences of 5-99 years!

Also, in a move to revamp Black Liberation era counter-offensives, federal legislators (followed by various states) felonized crossing state boundaries to partake in protests. Some students of the movement may recall that this measure was first enacted against Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the former H. Rap Brown of SNNC, BPP, and RNA at the apex of the Black Liberation struggle.

These are only a few key examples of the criminalization of radical dissent as it pertains to those on the outside. However, C.O. unions, DOC headquarters, and various reactionaries began their countervailing efforts on radical and revolutionary forces on the inside first.

In the almost immediate aftermath of the 2016 National Prison Strike, DOC’s around the empire all began complaining of the same issue: an illusionary influx of drugs coming through the mail. Reading from the limited research materials i have in my cell, it seems that the counter-offensive attacking prisoner mail under the pretext of a major drug influx began in 2017, and the first states to initiate this offensives were Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida. States like Tekkk$a$, initiated a different sort of attack on prisoner correspondence by severely limiting indigent mail in 2015. However, relating to the “influx of drugs” ruse, many other states have since followed suit. Another related component to the attack on prisoner mail is the wide spread switchover to digitized mail services. States have begun denying all physical snail mail and mail that have implemented this repressive tactic have also by and large prevented prisoners from receiving books from “unauthorized” vendors, basically mandating that reading material be sent from a sole approved vendor.

All these measures described above are ‘on trend’ among the various states around the empire, meaning these measures are likely to be making their way to a prison near you. What We’re experiencing now is a proving ground for the state, in which they’ve been observing to see which countervailing measures will stir the masses the most, which ones will survive the initial jailhouse lawyer onslaughts.

Again, it must be understood that the major drug influx cited by (all) these state DOC’s is illusionary. That isn’t to say drugs aren’t in prison, but they’re flowing in the same frequency as prior to 2016 (national prison strike). So why now? Why suddenly the state-to-state focused attack on prisoner correspondence, and the digitizing of mail, only after 2016? The answer points to a New-COINTELPRO type program (NCTP). Part and parcel with this NCTP is the widespread, coordinated countervailing attacks against progressive and revolutionary prisoners. From Califas, Oregon, Nevada to New Mexico, Indiana to Pennsylvania; from Virginia to North Carolina, South Carolina to Florida, Alabama to Tekkk$a$, dissident prisoners are under attack. These attacks range from down right malicious assaults to poisoning of food/water supplies, from permanent solitary placement to the systemic silencing of these militants. In places like TDCJ’s Allred Unit, which Texas uses to isolate and torture political prisoners and captive journalists. They’ve employed a specialized individual, ex-military/ex-cop, to survey ‘specific inmates’ mail and book deliveries. Is it clear yet?

As the 2020 summer uprisings raged on into the late fall in some areas of the empire the Trump-Pence regime had already began laying the foundation to begin the mass warehousing of political dissidents on the outside utilizing some of the new laws mentioned above. As these protests raged on, political radicals have filled up prisons and jails around the empire. Do you all understand what this could mean for the prison movement?

The last time in movement hystory that We experienced a mass influx of militants and revolutionaries entering the prisons was during the Black Liberation era (late 1960’s into the 1970’s). Atiba Shanna, and the New Afrikan Prisoner’s Organization did a superb job illustrating the effect political prisoners entering the prisons in mass had on the already bubbling prison movement:

"As a result of the repression exercised upon the struggle taking place outside the walls in the late sixties and early seventies, leaders and activists in these struggles were captured and imprisoned. These were the political prisoners and prisoners of war. Their initial imprisonment was a result of consciously motivated political actions.

“The escalation of struggle outside the walls also resulted in a significant increase in the number of politicized prisoners already inside the walls… We can admit that the economic and socio-psychological ties that these politicized prisoners had with the oppressive system were such that they represent the most conscious element among us - the most conscious, that is, of the presently waging undeclared war between themselves and those who rule. Thus, they are the most receptive and responsive to the need to become ‘the people in uniform.’ BUT, their politicization resulted primarily from their being members of oppressed nations!” (1)

The people who are responsible for holding people in cages, and keeping us in cages, are acutely aware of the possible and very likely culture shock that is to overtake U.$. prisons that experience an influx of political radicals. Never forget that in the time frame mentioned above by Comrade Atiba, that the activities of the BLA and other similar formations eventually led to the U.$. moving to build more newer, more ‘secure,’ and high tech prisons designed to keep Our political prisoners and prisoners of war within them, and to prevent anymore political prisoners of war from arising from among the captive populace.

Therefore i concur that We’re currently experiencing such countervailing efforts by the enemy-state so that they may monitor captive militants, their networks and families (with the design to turn them into captive militants themselves) and prevent the rise of a more militant, more ideologically consolidated, more revolutionary national prison movement that is intrinsically inter-woven with a more militant, ideologically consolidated, more revolutionary outside united front.

By this point We hope it is clear that just as the prison movement and the movement on the other side of the walls have a dialectical relationship; the enemies on both sides of the wall also have a dialectical relationship, they also work together to the detriment of Our progress. As more revolutionary oriented comrades advance the national prison movement forward, repression will increase in intensity. We must begin to operate in a way that one’s struggles become all Our struggle. If comrades in one state are being overly repressed We must band together in multiple states, letting the pig power structure know “WE SEE YOU AND WE WON’T STAND FOR IT: 1LOVE 1STRUGGLE!” We must reach such a level of organization and operation, and We are on the cusp of it NOW. I encourage progressive and revolutionary captives to begin dialoging, corresponding, with each other. Seek out the means to do so. We must keep each other abreast to the local happenings from unit to unit, state to state. Comrades that is why publications like Under Lock & Key, San Francisco Bay View, and others are so important. However, We aren’t utilizing these platforms to their greatest extent if We aren’t constantly sending in reports, articles, informing other comrades on what’s happening. And We must also begin to support these institutions more effectively as a whole. I challenge all ULK subscribers to raise at least 10 stamps to mail to MIM(Prisons)! Which state can raise the most funds? TX where ya’ll at!? Those 10 stamps can go a long way towards prisoner organizing and educational efforts.

RE-BUILD TO WIN

1. Notes from a New Afrikan P.O.W. journal #1 by Atiba Shanna

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Revolutionary History] [ULK Issue 76]
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Pioneers

Is this how Marcus Garvey felt?
Is this how Noble Drew Ali felt?

She asked, “Why does it has to be me?”
Cause clearly I do see
Through all the pain and travesty
The road that will break us free

But I know
That it’s gonna be a lonely road
Most of the time I’ll be left in the rain and the cold
Yes I know
Many done failed on this road
Out their soul they sold
They fell for the fool’s gold
Now they bloodsuck for the light
Because their insides are filled with black mold

Is this how Elijah Muhammad felt?
Is this how Clarence 13X Smith felt?

A lot of my own will disregard me
Say I’m lost in the sauce and fell into insanity
If only they could see the road to the land of milk and honey
Just as vividly as I
No lie I rather die than to compromise for a crumb of the capitalist pie
Seen those that I was close to cower when the
Dragon flexed its false power
All I could do is shake my head and sigh
Then remember that the world is ours
Even though we’re the patch of kids that grew up hella sour

A part of the oppressed we’re nothing less than a survivalist
The pressure of the world where only diamonds can withstand the stress
Like the chosen ones out the bible; you didn’t know that we’re bless?
Ima be Brother of the struggle until the opps leave me bloody and stretch
Or until all the rads are freed and there ain’t no imperialist left.

Is this how Fred Hampton felt?
Is this how Bunchy Carter felt?
Is this how Stanley “Tookie” Williams felt?
Is this how Larry Hoover Sr. felt?
Can somebody tell me?
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[China] [FAQ] [Revolutionary History] [Economics] [ULK Issue 75]
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What China Taught Us About Socialism

From Victory to Defeat: China’s Socialist Road and Capitalist Reversal
by Pao-Yu Ching
Foreign Languages Press
2019

In a recent online debate between two random “Marxist-Leninists” and two fascists, one of the self-described “Marxist-Leninists” stated that every country in the last 100 years has been socialist. The fascists are happy to parade such meaningless dribble as “Marxism” so that they can make Marxism look bad. With Obama’s election, white nationalist fear became expressed in many deragatory words, including “communism” and “Marxism,” with no sense of irony that they were accusing the number one enemy of the world’s people of being a communist.

What is common among “Marxists” in the First World is saying every country is socialist that says it is and has some form of state intervention in the economy. This superficial analysis has also helped muddy the water of what socialism is. And it allows the fascists to say that they share many of the goals and ideals of the self-described Marxists. In particular they both look to China as a positive model of how to run a country and they both think Amerikans and various First World European nations are being victimized by the current world system. The fact that many of these fascists have chauvinist anti-Chinese views and wish war against the social-imperialist CPC is of no matter. For MIM, the question of wether today’s China is socialist or social-imperialist is a dividing line question.

To understand what socialism is, MIM has long recommended The Chinese Road to Socialism by Wheelright and MacFarlane. For the history of the coup that overthrew socialism in China MIM distributed The Capitalist Roaders Are Still on The Capitalist Road. In 1986, MIM cadre Henry Park published “Postrevolutionary China and the Soviet NEP” comparing state capitalism in the early days of the Russian revolution to state capitalism after the coup in China. In 1988, Park published “The Political Economy of Counterrevolution in China: 1976-88”, which tied all of these subjects together through a Maoist framework and analyzes the failures of state capitalism in post-Maoist China.

Pao-Yu Ching’s From Victory to Defeat serves as a more up-to-date introduction to the topic of the differences between socialism and capitalism in the last 100 years of Chinese history. It is written as a sort of FAQ and provides a broad overview, while explaining the key concepts that allow us to differentiate between the two economic systems. As such, MIM(Prisons) recommends Pao-Yu Ching’s work as a solid starting place when exploring this topic. The topic of “What is socialism?” must be fully grasped by all communists.

It seems that Pao-Yu may disagree with the Maoist class analysis. In eir introduction ey states, “Today the living conditions of the working masses in imperialist countries have grown increasingly difficult.”(p.9) Ey then alludes to rising prices, rising debt and precarious work, none of which necessarily reflect worsening objective conditions. Without a recognition that these populations are parasitic on the working classes, this line leads to the politics of the fascists and social-fascist “Marxist-Leninists” mentioned above. It is also relevant to the question of revisionism in the formerly socialist countries who looked to emulate the lifestyles of Amerikans. Since this point is not taken up in the rest of the book we will not dwell on it here, but it remains the biggest problem with this work.

What is Socialism?

Many of our readers and those who are interested in what we have to say in general are still confused as to what socialism is for the reasons mentioned above. Ultimately it is defined differently by different people, and it is used politically rather than scientifically. Pao-Yu outlines what the most advanced example of socialism looked like quite nicely in eir short book, so we will just mention some key points here to help clarify things.

Socializing industry first required that the state took control of the means of production in the form of factories, supply lines, raw materials, etc. This is where many stop with their definition of socialism. Some other key things that Pao-Yu points out is that success was no longer measured in the surplus produced but rather on improvements in the production and overall running of the enterprise.(p.20) This recognizes that some will be more profitable in a capitalist sense, but that the nation benefits more when all enterprises are improving, not just the profitable ones. Another key point is that laborers were guaranteed a job that was paid by the state and a standard rate.(p.28) This eliminated labor as a commodity that you must sell on the open market. Commodities are at the heart of capitalism. Socialism is the the transition away from commodities, starting with the most important commodity of humyn labor.

The above only applied to a minority of the country, as the vast majority of China was a peasant population. It is only in recent years that the peasantry is now less than half the population. It is in the countryside where the capitalist roaders and the Maoists disagreed the most. Pao-Yu walks us through the different phases of the transition to socialism and how the principal contradiction shifted in each phase. Ey explains the contradiction amongst the countryside, where production was not owned collectively by the whole population, and the cities where it was. The disagreement with the capitalist roaders was a disagreement over the principal contradiction at the time, which they thought was the advanced social system (of socialism) with the backward productive forces (of small scale farming by peasants). To resolve this contradiction the capitalist roaders thought they must accelerate production, industrialize agriculture, and feed the industrialized cities with the surplus of that agricultural production. This focus on production is one of the key defining lines of revisionism.

While Marx taught us that the productive forces are the economic base that define humyn history and the superstructure, he also said the contradiction with the relations of production is what leads to revolutionary transformations of society. As Pao-Yu points out, learning from Mao Zedong, during these revolutionary periods is when the relations of production become primary, in order to unleash the productive forces that have become stagnant under the previous mode of production.(p.30) In other words peasants living under semi-feudalism in China pre-liberation were not improving their conditions. They needed to revolutionize how they related to each other, how they were organized, specifically the class relations, in order to move towards a new mode of production (socialism) that could meet their needs much better. Therefore Mao focused on education, theory, class struggle, culture, the people, instead of focusing on production, profitability, surplus, and wage incentives, as the capitalist roaders did. The Maoist path took the Chinese peasants through a gradual process of increasing collectivization through communes, which was quickly dismantled after the coup in 1976.

What is Democracy?

Another question those living in bourgeois democracies often ask is how you can have democracy with only one party, where people are purged for having the wrong political line? Pao-Yu makes the point well by explaining that in established bourgeois democracies you can have many parties and many candidates, because they all represent the same class.(p.48) This is the case because these countries are stable in their mode of production (capitalism). In the transition to a new economic system the political struggle is between two classes. In the case of capitalism thransitioning to socialism, it is between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (and their class allies on each side).

The bourgeoisie by definition is always competing amongst itself, so it cannot have one party represent all of their interests, except in extreme crises when fascism becomes viable. In the United $tates today, the left-wing of the bourgeoisie are represented by the democrats while the right-wing flock to the republicans. Even amongst these parties are different bourgeois factions fighting amongst each other. The proletariat however is united in it’s class interest, so there will be no need for multiple proletarian parties. There are many books that outline the components of socialist democracy where people select their representatives at each level of administration, where free speech and criticism are encouraged, where education is universal and free and where everyone is involved in studying theory and practice to shape the decisions that affect their day-to-day lives. It does not require having multiple political parties to choose from as bourgeois democracies do in their electoral farce.

What is China?

Pao-Yu covered China before, during, and after socialism so that the reader can better understand the differences. As such the book is a good introduction to the explanation of why China has not been on the socialist road since 1976. Ey touches on the loss of the guaranteed job, with the introduction of temporary workers, the ending of the right to strike and free expression among the workers, the ability of managers to start keeping the profits from the enterprises they oversee, the loss of universal medical care, and the focus on production for other nations, while importing the pollution of those consumer nations. Ey briefly documents the struggles of the workers to maintain control of the enterprises they once owned collectively. China is now a capitalist hell hole for the majority objectively and it does not matter wether the CPC has millions of cadre who believe the opposite subjectively.

The Global Economy

One point Pao-Yu makes that we have also stressed as being important, is the role of the proletarianization of the Chinese masses in saving global imperialism from crisis. When the imperialist economies were facing economic crisis in the 1970s, one third of the world’s population was not available to be exploited by the imperialist system. One of the laws of capitalism is its need to always expand. When China went capitalist, it opened up a vast population to exploitation and super-exploitation for the imperialists. This labor was the source of value that the imperialist system thrived off of by the mid 1980s until just recently.

Interestingly, Pao-Yu says that almost 30% of the Chinese population is petty bourgeoisie, owning (often multiple) investment properties and travelling around the world.(p.111) In a previous article we explained that we saw China as a proletarian country still despite its imperialist activities. We referred to Bromma’s research that stated China’s “middle class” was 12-15% of the population some years prior. It is interesting to hear that the Chinese petty bourgeoisie has reached the same size in absolute numbers as the Amerikan one. It would be interesting to compare the wealth of these two groups, we presume the Amerikans remain wealthier. Of course, China is still majority proletariat, while Amerika is almost completely bourgeoisified, so the class interests of these nations overall remain opposed to one another. But we will rarely hear the proletarian voices from China until a new proletarian party rises there.

The housing market is one example of how China has emulated the United $tates. Investing in properties has become an important way for the new petty bourgeoisie in China to accumulate wealth without working. Just last week, the Chinese investment firm Evergrande made headlines when it became public knowledge that they would not be able to pay the billions of dollars they owe. Evergrande has significant backing from Amerikan finance capital, as is true for the Chinese economy in general. Therefore the collapse of the Chinese housing market could have real ripple effects in the global economy.

The fact that real estate investment firms exist in China, and that they are defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars owed, is really all you need to know to see that the economy is oriented towards profit and not people. Things like inflation and bubbles and stock markets and speculation just didn’t exist during the Maoist era. The reintroduction of these things for the last four decades destroyed the progress in class struggle in China long ago.

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