The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out
[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 29]
expand

Upset the Setup

one rifle per family bambu
featuring Killer Mike
from the album One Rifle Per Family
Beatrock Music
2012
www.bambu.la

No surprise I'm from a gangbang culture
Where we can keep it civil or pull a thing thing on ya
Southern California where th sun don't quit
Intergenerational gangs so sons don't quit
But immediately you see that the problems that's in my city
Are secondary to what's propelling it in my city
I mean really break it down, take poor black and brown
Educate em poor, take the jobs from out they town
The inendate them with sedative drugs and dumb tv
Locked into a zoo and hunted daily by the police
Then you get a group of youth who know they don't belong
Then they gather up and organize and number up strong
But see the failure is in seeing that the problem ain't the gang
It's the situation in the communities where we hang
So I'm so pro-gang it might scare a muthuhfukkuh
Cause I fix th misconception that th enemy's our brothers

Bang on the setup, bang on the setup, bang on the setup
Upset the setup
Bang on the setup, bang on the setup, bang on the setup
Homie, we've been setup

I tell em...
I went from a street gang thang
Then I joined the military Fleet Marine Force thang
From a little bitty gang in th south o Los Angeles
T draggin bodies outta they house t help a government
Who hell bent on keepin money spent ona missle
Th reality's the difference between em shits is little
We had th objective o armin up over money
An they had th objective o armin up over money
An we told kids join us we th truth
Lies about protectin our block t get recruits
Then we find out we gettin killed for a hood
An we don't own a single spec o dirt onat hood
Whether ina zone down south in Decatur
Or ina flatlands offa Lennox and La Brea
Or ina low-rise project in Chicago
Big money come in and buy up our barrio so...

Throw your sets up, we bout to upset the setup
Upset the setup, upset the setup
Throw your sets up, we bout to upset the setup
Upset the setup, upset the setup

[Killer Mike Verse]
I do it for the Crips and the Blooders,
BGF brothers, the real...Freeway Ricky Ross and Chris Dutters
I do my thang for Hoover, I represent for Fort
So my folk and my people throw they set to support
Support will mean imagine, she might say the Chi
So maybe next summer no mamas gotta cry
Cause maybe next summer nobody gotta die
Hell, even if we fail, somebody gotta try
The only way the system move, is somebody gotta lie
And the lie they told us old, they base it on your race
They separate: you black, you brown, you yellow and white face
Then we further separate by joining gangs and legislate
That our neighborhoods are now at war like we are separate states
So the police occupy our hood to keep down all the drama
So the Starbucks they just built is comfortable for soccer mamas
And American Apparel comfortable for all the hipsters
And it's zero tolerance for all you spics and you niggas
And you chinks and you crackas
And it ain't about who whiter and it ain't about who blacker
But the money is a factor
And the factor is the factories got moved up out da hood
When starvation is present and absent is the job
A man will simply starve, or he will form a mob
If you should form a mafia, then you should think Sicilian
Buy the hood for real, every block, every building
Every building, feed the children, gang bang, every building
Feed the children, feed the children, gang bang, on the system.

chain
[Legal] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 29]
expand

North Carolina Prisoners Lack Access to Courts

The prison system in North Carolina does not have a law library. The courts say they don't need to provide law libraries because we have the North Carolina Prisoner Legal Service, Inc. (NCPLS). The truth is NCPLS helps maybe one or two prisoners a year.

Recently NCPLS sent me a letter telling me not to write back about the publication class action lawsuit case Urbanial v. Stanley until I have filed a grievance and the grievance is appealed to Step 3 and I get the response back. When I did that I sent the grievance and response to NCPLS, only to have them send the materials back without any letter explaining why they sent them back.

I have requested assistance from NCPLS in civil matters 25 or more times. This is going back to the 1990s when my civil rights were being violated over and over again. As NCPLS states in one of their letters, it's a price we the prisoners must pay for being prisoners. I am not allowed to even touch a staff member, and they should not be allowed to unjustly pepper spray me, etc. When they do, I have to go through a grievance system before I can file the lawsuit in court, and when I do file lawsuits they are dismissed. As you can see, I am given no legal assistance in filing these lawsuits either.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade continues to fight repression and censorship with the odds stacked against h. Over the years, others in North Carolina have been researching and fighting the lack of law libraries. Unfortunately, on paper, the nominal existence of the NCPLS enables North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) to skirt the Constitutional requirement that it provides its prisoners access to courts.

Bounds v. Smith 430 U.S. 817 (1977) permits prison authorities to provide either law libraries or counsel to satisfy this requirement, but it does not need to provide both. When a prisoner's appointed counsel is useless, and they don't have a law library in which to research a case to challenge this, their only hope is assistance from outside organizations and supporters.

The Prisoners' Legal Clinic is one such organization, under the MIM(Prisons) umbrella, which was reestablished a few years ago in an attempt to provide some of this much-needed legal support to our comrades with an anti-imperialist focus. One of the help guides we distribute for prisoners to use and build on is related to access to courts. This help guide is in very rough format currently, but with the expertise of our jailhouse lawyer contacts we can clean it up, and begin to distribute it more widely.

To get involved in the Prisoners' Legal Clinic, write to MIM(Prisons) and say you want to put in work on this project!

chain
[Control Units] [Culture] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 29]
expand

Rapper Beef Props Up Prison Spending and Isolation

chief keef
[This article was added to and facts were corrected by the Under Lock & Key Editor]

Recently, Chicago rapper Lil Reese signed a $30 million contract with Def Jam to make music. A day or two later he brutally beat down a woman for verbally disrespecting him. Lil Reese is an affiliate of another Chicago rapper, Chief Keef, who has also been making a name for himself for being at the center of controversy around violence in hip hop. A recent episode of Nightline addressed the fact that at least 419 people have been killed in a dozen neighborhoods in Chicago in 2012, more than the number of U.$. troops killed in Afghanistan where resistance to the occupation continues to grow. The program centered around a sit-down of 38 members of lumpen organizations in Chicago organized by Cease Fire, a group discussed in ULK 25. It also featured a Chief Keef and Lil Reese video to criticize Keef's anti-snitching stance. MTV.com reports that the participants almost unanimously agreed that it would practically take a miracle to stop the violence.

The misogynistic nature of rap music has been analyzed and explored thoroughly. This article is not meant to downplay the senseless violence against a humyn being, but the "powers that be" are using the incident with Lil Reese and programs like Nightline to formulate another sinister plot to target the oppressed nations in Amerika.

Chicago has had one of its most deadly years in terms of urban gun violence, and this has been attributed to Chicago street tribes and lumpen organizations. The Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre perpetrated by a man who claimed to be "The Joker" does not generate the same fear or threat that young Blacks and Latinos in the hood with guns do. Why is that?

Imperialists are not worried about white males in Amerikkka with guns. It is the oppressed nations that pose the most realistic threat to the oppressive imperialistic regime. We have seen the toll that the so-called "war on drugs" has had on our Black and Latino nations. Genocide, social control, and mass incarceration of the lumpen underclass; it's the Amerikan way! During the presidential debates both candidates agreed on keeping gun laws the same.

One of the most brutal social control programs is being formulated as we speak and it will be cloaked in a "war on gun violence." In truth it will be a death blow to urban street tribes and lumpen organizations. President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder have pushed for one of the highest budgets for federal prisons and detention facilities that we have seen in years. The states are actually reducing their prison budgets because of the dismal economic conditions, but the feds are pumping up the volume! A whopping $9 billion dollars has been allocated for the U.$. Department of Injustice in 2013 for corrections, jails, and detention facilities. Of that, $6.9 billion has been allocated to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 2013, an increase of about 4% in tight fiscal times.

There is a prison in Thomson, Illinois that had been tagged as the location where Guantanamo Bay detainees were supposed to be housed after President Obama closed the barbaric torture chamber in Cuba. However the Amerikan public balked! They said they did not want these "dangerous terrorists" housed on Amerikan soil. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder still wants to purchase the prison in Thomson, Illinois and change it into a Super-Max just like the one in Florence, Colorado. 1,400 Ad-Seg/solitary confinement beds for "the worst of the worst" in Amerikkka. These beds will be for oppressed nations, just like the solitary confinement cells in prisons across the country.

MIM(Prisons) has reported extensively on the use of control units as a tool of social control. These torture units are used to target political organizers and leaders of oppressed nations who are seen as a particular threat to the imperialist system. We have been collecting statistics on these control units for years, because the isolation cells are often hidden within other prisons and no consistent information is kept on this pervasive torture within Amerika. We invite prisoners to write to us for a survey about control units in their state to contribute to this important documentation project.

For those facing violent conditions in Chicago or elsewhere who turn to despair, remember that there are many who come from the streets of that very city, from the Black Panthers to lumpen organizations, who have taken positive paths. If it weren't for the interference of white media and the police, things would be different now. Ultimately solutions to those problems must come from the people involved who don't want to be living like that, no matter how they brag about being tough in a rap. The way out may not be obvious, but things are always in a state of change. And when it comes to humyn society, it is up to humyns what that change looks like. Struggle ain't easy, but it is the only way if you have ideals that contradict with the current society under imperialism.

chain
[Political Repression] [Southeast Correctional Center] [Missouri]
expand

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.

chain
[Organizing] [Abuse] [Lanesboro Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 29]
expand

Violence Perpetuated by Prison Admin: Come Together and Fight for Peace

In late September of this year, in a fight between a few prisoners, a prisoner was killed and another prisoner was seriously wounded and is still in critical condition. The incident happened at Lanesboro Correctional Institution and we have been on lockdown since it occurred. The administration discontinued visitation for regular population and segregated inmates, cut telephone privileges for everyone, and regular population was limited to ordering only five items, three times a week, and three showers a week. Recreation was taken from regular population indefinitely, which caused them to remain in their rooms for 24 hours a day for days at a time.

The strange thing about this entire event is when Superintendent Parsons was questioned on the Channel 9 news based in Charlotte, North Carolina, about what exactly happened, he responded by saying 148 prisoners had a "brawl" in which a prisoner was killed. The media then debased the prisoner who was killed and devoted the entire segment to discussing how he was shot by police in 1999 in an attempted escape. Nothing was said about why this prisoner-on-prisoner stabbing occurred, or about the dozens of other stabbings that happened throughout this year. Nor did they mention the illegal and inhumane "dry cells" that were mandated by the administration, leaving almost 100 prisoners in rooms with feces covering the entire dorm.

As of now, all of the questionable events are being investigated by the State Bureau Investigation Unit and Laneseboro Correctional Institution may be looking at grave consequences. But why did these events end so brutally? Why did it take a prisoner losing his life for the administration, the Governor, and law enforcement to get involved? First let's take a look at what led up to these times we are in.

At the start of the year, the prison administration promoted the idea that gang violence was the cause of dozens of stabbings occurring statewide which put several close custody camps on lockdown for weeks and even months. Here at Lanesboro, that soon subsided and things were back to "normal." Then early June, the Prison Emergency Response Team (PERT) raided the prison, where nearly 100 prisoners were placed in "dry cells" where we were in our cells 24 hours a day for a week. PERT officers weren't allowing us to flush our toilets, which caused them to become clogged. aIn protest we threw our feces out into the dayroom, leaving the entire dorm in a heap of feces. Prisoners were forced to eat, clean our bodies, and sleep in this stench. Also prisoners were forced to have x-rays to find drugs, cell phones or weapons. This led to many lawsuits being filed.

What happened next indicates how much the Lanesboro administration cares about prison life. A stabbing had occurred in which one prisoner's neck was cut. A prisoner involved was placed in segregation along with the prisoner who had his throat cut. The administration then released the assaulted prisoner into regular population after one week and placed him in the same pod as his enemies. This set off four consecutive stabbings in less than two hours around the prison.

They momentarily locked us down. When we came off, two days later a prisoner was killed. Another strange thing is the prisoners who did the killing didn't live in the dorm where the killing occurred, and neither did the prisoner who was killed. This means the officers had to let these prisoners into a dorm where they didn't live.

So we see the perpetuation of violence by the Lanesboro administration who place known enemies in the same dorm. Obviously they're not trying to stop the violence. This perpetuation of violence results in lockdowns where they take all of the prisoners "privileges" in an attempt to further control us. It's obvious these lockdowns did not halt the violence. In fact, evidence shows that violence in prisons across the country increases after a lock down (see the documentary Unlock the Box). But the puzzling part is when they take away our "privileges," we gladly accept it instead of resisting. There were only a few people filing grievances, filing lawsuits, taking progressive actions against the beast, but there were many complaining.

Why do these violent acts continue to occur? To understand the simple answer you just have to look at conditions here. We have to wait 90 days to receive a job, even unit jobs. They're denying some of us from even enrolling in school or extra-curricular activities. They barely even offer any extra-curricular activities. All we have to occupy our time is TV, yard and gym. Prisoners have no activities to engage in, and so just hang around the dorms. With the state building medium custody facilities right beside the close custody facilities, the administration says all "good" jobs (kitchen workers and other important jobs) will be taken by medium custody prisoners. This will ultimately have more of us in our dorms unable to work, and so prevented from getting gain time and being shipped to a "better" facility. It will destroy morale and cause some to lash out and perpetuate the prisoner-on-prisoner violence.

So why do these events continue to happen? Because the administration wants it to! They perpetuate violence. They don't care about prisoners' lives, and they are never going to solve the true problems. Therefore, it is up to us to remedy our own situations by uniting and never splitting. We need to take the rebellious actions against these oppressors and force them to recognize their policies aren't working. We must come together and get an understanding and peace with one another so they won't have to enforce any policies anyway.

We don't want them to do their jobs because their jobs are to repress, suppress and oppress us, to hinder us from uniting and fighting the true injustice. As superintendent Parsons lied to the public media, they lie to us as well. And we have to show them we won't tolerate it any longer. Unite and resist and our conditions will get better because "We" will make them better!

chain
[Organizing] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 29]
expand

Grievance Fight Assisted with Citizen Complaint Letters

I am writing to follow up on the problems we've been experiencing with our appeals system as it relates to the mass complaint form that at least 85 of us sent to Sacramento. I went a step further and had my sister draft a "citizen's complaint letter" to the Warden of RJ Donvan. He's required by law to investigate and respond to this letter within 30 days. This puts more pressure on the Warden's office due to the time and resources involved to send out responses. So, if your readers have friends and family who can draft and submit the citizen's complaint en masse, I believe it can have a greater impact.


MIM(Prisons) adds: As previously reported, this comrade is making good use of the grievance petition and taking on this battle creatively through the legal and administrative system. Write to us to get involved in this campaign. We can send you a copy of the grievance petition for your state, or a generic version you can customize to create one for states that do not yet have one.

chain
[Abuse] [North Carolina]
expand

Grievance System Protects Abuses by PERT Team in North Carolina

In May of 2012, when I was at my previous prison, the "Prison Emergency Response Team" (PERT team) did a full facility shake down. These are regular corrections officers who have been certified to be a member of this "special" group. They wear black t-shirts with "PERT" spelled on the front breast and upper back, with camouflage pants that are tucked into black military boots. They have no name tags, so there is absolutely no way of identifying any officer.

They make you strip naked, squat and cough. Then, in nothing but your white boxers, they handcuff you, and escort you through a metal detector, while other officer tears your cell apart looking for any form of "contraband." If you return to your cell before the search is complete they make you stand facing your cell door. You cannot watch them search your cell! If you try to watch, your get verbally assaulted and/or sometimes physically man handled to the position they want you in.

During the search of my cell a personal property item of mine (electric shaver with trimmers) was broken into 3 pieces. When I asked for the names of the officers involved in the cell search, I was told it was "none of you fucking business." So, I filed a grievance. The first response was that I did not list the names of the officers involved, and there was no proof of the condition of my shaver. (Though they had current paperwork of the personal property that I had and what condition it was in.)

I appealed this response. The second response said that the first response answered my grievance. I had no names of officers, and no proof of the condition of my property before the search. "No further action is needed." I once again appealed the response. The last and final response I received was: "This examiner has reviewed this grievance and the response given by staff in the DC-410A response. My review of this grievance reveals no violation of applicable division of prisons policy nor does it show any evidence of disrespect or abuse of authority by staff. Therefore, this grievance is dismissed for lack of supporting evidence." So my grievance was turned down because I had no names of the officials that changed my property. But there is no way that I could have gotten their names in the first place!


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is yet another example of the failure of the prison grievance system to address abuses and legal violations by prison staff. Grievances are little more than a formality where the very people violating policies and laws are the same ones reviewing the complaints. They back each other up and dismiss grievances based on criteria that they know are impossible for prisoners to meet. This is why the grievance campaign is spreading across the country. North Carolina has a grievance petition customized for that state, as do many others. Write to us for a copy of the petition for your state, or for a generic petition that you can customize if we don't have one already.

chain
[Elections]
expand

Organize Against Imperialist Elections


Every four years Amerikans are given an opportunity to vote for a new representative to lead the country as president or re-elect the one who already holds office. This year Amerikans have two options on who to elect, either Obama or Mitt Romney. Weighing the options, who is it that will more likely bring change for the oppressed? In this case it's neither, both Obama and Romney are imperialist representatives and both share the primary concern of how to better serve the interests of capitalism/imperialism. So why should U.$. citizens vote for one oppressor over another? The answer is simple, they shouldn't!

The oppressor class will always sell high dreams and prospective futures to the oppressed to gain their vote. For instance Obama and the Democratic Party only recently proposed "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA). DACA pretends to offer non-citizens who arrived in the U.$. as children the opportunity for legal residence. But lets look at it for what it is. DACA is not actually a law but an executive order that can be revoked at any time by whoever is president. The qualifications for DACA are narrow and for those qualified they will only receive a temporary work permit. What about the others who applied and were rejected for one reason or another? Well they willingly gave up their information along with that of their families and will now be in the "ICE database" and could be rounded up and deported. It is a re-election tactic the Obama administration utilized as a ploy to get the Latino vote. But this is not in the interests of the undocumented.

deferred action for childhood arrivals

"People always were and always will be the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases declarations and promises. The supporters of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realize that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling class and there is only one way of smashing the resistance of these classes and that is to find, in the very society which surrounds us, and to enlighten and organize for the struggle the forces which can - and owing to their social positions must - constitute the power capable of sweeping away the old and creating the new." - VI Lenin On the Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism

The electoral system is not nor will it ever be the means to bringing real change, as long as there is an imperialist as president there will be no progress for the oppressed. There are those who say Obama is a better choice than Romney because Romney is a racist Mormon and his extreme conservative policies will bring further devastation to Amerika or wage more wars. But weren't these the sentiments towards the end of the Bush administration? People got fed up with Bush's deportation of immigrants and warmongering agenda. They had hope in the first Black president. But we have seen Obama has gone farther than Bush in violating people's fundamental rights in "the war on terrorism." His 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) law gives the president full authority to detain anyone who the government deems a terrorist indefinitely, without charges or a trial, and the terrorist label can be vague and will more than likely be thrown around like candy.

Obama has deported more immigrants than Bush, he also ordered more drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan than Bush. Obama's warmongering resulted in 284 drone strikes on Pakistan alone. And under Obama's leadership the United $tates., along with Israel, threatens imminent war on Iran. Let's face reality, Obama and Romney will only serve the interests of the big bourgeoisie and maintain the status quo.

As prisoners we need to consciously participate in politics that serve our interests. In ULK 28 someone mentioned the penal system in Nevada; a prisoner anticipated reprisals by fellow prisoners for exposing the warden for culinary and laundry violations to the health department. These prisoners acting on behalf of the prison administration to attack this prisoner is counter and reactionary to what he was trying to do by bettering the quality of food and laundry for the prison population. This goes to show what Mao Zedong once said about lumpen: "brave fighters but apt to be destructive. They can become a revolutionary force if given proper guidance." We all know doing favors for the pigs like that mentioned above is going a little too far and would merit a negative reaction from the prison population.

Looking at it from a bigger picture, under Obama/Romney mass incarcerations will continue. The U.$. has the highest incarceration rate in the world today and let's not forget the police brutality that has swelled across the country since Obama's been in the office.

Our action of not voting for one oppressor over another should be consciously voiced. When I explained this to a fellow prisoner he responded: "well who else is going to be your representative nationally?" My answer to that was simple: "we can represent ourselves, we don't need yankee representatives!" The oppressed nationalities need their own independent representatives who will serve their interests, not sell them out, and institutions that help them rather than strip them of their identity and culture. Reforms or amendments will never bring about genuine change for the oppressed nations, only communism will.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The author above originally quoted Karl Marx as saying:

"Every few years the oppressed are authorized to decide which members of the oppressor class will represent and crush them in parliament."

However, this does not accurately represent the conditions in the United $tates where the oppressor nation has the majority say in who represents the government that oppresses and kills more people worldwide than any other country [UPDATE: white Amerikans ended up being 72% of the voters in the 2012 national election]. The people most oppressed by U.$. imperialism have no say in these elections that affect them very deeply.

Rather than encouraging prisoners to organize in their own interests, we challenge them to think more broadly, in the interests of the oppressed people of the world. This is important because the imperialist system has stolen tremendous wealth and brought it home to Amerika where all the citizens share in the spoils. While prisoners are clearly oppressed, they share in the Amerikan mentality of looking out for their own wealth at the expense of the world's people.

chain
[Abuse] [Estelle High Security Unit] [Texas]
expand

Exposing the Clique of Oppressors at Estelle

Because of my activism and revolutionary actions I have become a target. My mail is being delayed, and recently these prisoncrats have been denying recreation, not just to me but our entire block - E-wing High Security (Estelle).

Two days ago I watched a white male sergeant named Curtis Jordan pull a Mexican male out of his cell violently and slam his head against a wall, and continue to smash his head against the wall and he looked up at my cell where I was watching and said "Tell that, Bitch!" I wrote a detailed affidavit to Senior Warden Cody Ginsel of Estelle Unit requesting that he review the video. This was an unprovoked use of force! Believe it or not, major David M. Forrest ordered the brutality against this innocent Mexican prisoner, who has some mental health issues. These racists target the weak, elderly, and mentally ill prisoners who can't fight back.

Comrades, I need your help in exposing these swine. Here is a list of the "Clique." My goal is to break this "good ole boy" clique up and possibly improve the living conditions in this slave pen of oppression for all.

  1. Assistant Warden Steven T. Miller, in charge of the High Security Unit at Estelle — extremely vindictive, and promotes inhumane treatment of prisoners.
  2. Major David M. Forrest — Eight years ago was a Senior Warden, was demoted to Lieutenant after being involved in the murder of a prisoner. This is our Chief KKK grand wizard! We must destroy him!
  3. Lieutenant James H. Kent — His father is a Deputy Directory. In the past six months the prison watchdog service, con-care service, received 16 prisoner complaints from prisoners housed at this High Security Unit. Kent was a main actor in five of the 16 complaints. He is cocky, arrogant and believes he is invincible.
  4. Lieutenant Deward Demoss — Big racist. Made a death threat against me in May 2012. I filed a complaint with DOJ.
  5. Sergeant Curtis Jordan — An unapologetic racist. He will tell you to your face "I hate niggers and wetbacks. I'm a redneck." Too many wrongs to list.
  6. We have two house negroes on the payroll. They are flunkies and dupes:
    A. Sergeant Terell Beverly — A sado-masochist with a history of abuse aimed at prisoners.
    B. Sergeant Brooks ("the snake") — A young Black man who is so wicked and brainwashed it sickens me.

I know that there is no specific race or ethnicity associated with oppressors, and it is a huge mistake to think if we traded all these white men in for "brothers" all problems would cease. That is idealistic bullshit.

Unit Grievance Investigator Allen Hartley is the Senior Grievance Investigator. He is super corrupt and in league with these racists. The grievance system is so broken. The main problem is the grievance staff do not practice objectivity or operate with any integrity. There just isn't any incentive for them to mete out justice and render fair decisions. People have been killed because they fail to do their job properly. Hartley's modus operandi is cronyism, nepotism, misplaced comradery, and obstruction of justice.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Exposing structural relationships like this highlights the continuing importance and need for national liberation of the internal semi-colonies. As this comrade points out, replacing all the white men with Black men (integrationism) would not change anything. Similarly, replacing them with more progressive-minded people in general would not lead to significant change because the fundamental problem is the criminal injustice system. It is set up so that police, courts, and prisons serve as tools of social control, and the individuals working within the system can do little to change that.

This is why we must put our battles against individual oppressors and policies in the context of the fight against imperialism as a system. Without liberating the oppressed nations from imperialist oppression we will never make fundamental change to the criminal injustice system that attacks us. So we must take up these smaller battles as agitational tools to mobilize the oppressed and as battles to exert the will of the oppressed in small ways that benefit our ability to educate and organize together.

chain
[Organizing] [Estelle High Security Unit] [Texas]
expand

Texas Grievance Investigators Must Be Fired

For the past 6 months I have been attempting to shed light on injustices perpetrated by Texas Department of Criminal Justice correctional officers and administrators against prisoners housed at the high security unit on Estelle Unit located in Huntsville, TX. I have written numerous Step 1 grievances, however, the same Unit Grievance Investigator (UGI) continues to impede, obstruct, and sabotage my quest for justice.

Estelle Unit UGI Mr. Allen Hartley has operated from the stance of nepotism, cronyism, and misplaced comradery. Instead of establishing an objective stance in his handling of my grievances, he has actually entered into a collusive and conspiratorial relationship with prison staff and administration in order to minimize, marginalize, and downplay my claims of injustice.

This is nothing new, comrades in Texas and California have been reporting on this type of behavior for years. MIM(prisons), USW, and some extremely dedicated comrades have come up with a weapon and strategy to combat these corrupt individuals. The grievance petition crafted by a USW comrade in California has been also adopted and utilized by Texas prisoners. I personally have sent a copy of the petition to the Texas state legislature.

The legislative session starts the 2nd week of January 2013. I encourage all comrades in Texas to write the legislature and request that all UGIs in the Texas prison system are fired and that a new streamlined, efficient, and fair grievance department be created. This new system should be managed by the Office of the Inspector General and oversight should be provided by the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP).

The point of the matter is this: the grievance procedure in Texas prisons is a farce and a sham. Unit Grievance Investigators are stealing tax payer dollars and violating the public's trust. Comrades are being degraded, humiliated, and abused in Texas every day and no-one is being held accountable for their actions except prisoners! Time and time again I have watched as TDCJ employees commit every crime against humanity you can think of, including murder, and nothing is done. This is bullshit! Please join USW and help get rid of these authors of obstruction.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade is proposing an interesting change to the grievance system in Texas, with oversight from independent organizations (ACLU and TCRP). Leaving the grievance process in the hands of the government means it will never truly serve the needs of prisoners, while establishing independent oversight would certainly lead to more accountability and less ease at outright fraud and lies serving the prison employees.

Although fighting for grievances to be addressed is only a reform to gain more livable conditions and organizing space for comrades in prison, it is a campaign that can demonstrate to others our ability to come together to fight for the rights of prisoners. No reform of the grievance system will end the injustice of the prison system in Amerika. These are just the early steps in building a movement for humyn rights in U.$. prisons.

chain