The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Control Units] [New Jersey State Prison] [New Jersey]
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NJ Control Units Violate Court Ruling and Basic Rights

I am a prisoner at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, NJ. I am presently housed in what is called the Management Control Unit (MCU). I have been in this unit since 2008. New Jersey's MCU is basically the equivalent of other states Security Housing Units (SHUs) or Intensive Management Units (IMUs). The reason I'm writing is to alert you of the numerous human and civil rights violations that we have been subjected to here. I also want to bring to your attention the fact that the administration at the prison has intentionally instituted a system designed to violate procedural due process rights of the prisoners in MCU.

Design and intent of the Management Control Program

The MCU program was designed to house the prisoners the administration considered a threat to the daily operations of the prison, to the correctional officer, or those they considered unable to house in general population with the other prisoners. The MCU unit in theory was not supposed to be a punitive unit for punishment since you could be placed there coming directly from the street never having received a disciplinary infraction inside of the prison. The prisoners of the MCU unit were told that the MCU is basically a "population for MCU prisoners." However, the MCU is anything but.

The MCU is supposed to be governed by what's called the New Jersey administrative code 10A. However, the administration does not adhere to it's own rules as put forth in the 10A. The so-called release program of the MCU is a three phase program (levels 1-3, one being the lowest). Completion of the following programs are requisite: Cage your Rage, and Thinking for a Change. The problem with this criteria is that the programs are very seldom offered, or capriciously and arbitrarily offered. This situation has only gotten worse recently. Since April of this year (2011) the administration has had the unit on lock-down. This lock-down is supposedly the result of a couple of random fights between a few prisoners (no correctional officers were involved in either of the situations). Since these random fights, the administration has done the following:

  1. Canceled all requisite programs needed to be considered for release
  2. Painted the cell windows so that we can no longer see outside
  3. Closed down the pantry in the unit where the food is served
  4. Taken all the jobs from the workers in the unit
  5. Canceled indoor recreation
  6. Changed the outdoor recreation schedule from every other day to once every four days
  7. Changed the amount of people allowed to go to the outdoor recreation. Everybody that was on MCU was able to go to the yard together. Now only six can go at a time.

It is my opinion, which I believe to be firmly grounded, that the couple of fights had nothing at all to do with the draconian measures taken by the administration. On July 2, 2010 the superior court of New Jersey appellate division issued a crushing ruling that the administration of New Jersey thought would never happen! In that ruling the court said that once a prisoner has reached phase three (the highest level in the MCU program) the burden then shifts to the prison to show why the prisoner should be held in MCU. The burden the administration must meet is to show a present identifiable threat that the prisoner presents. Up until this ruling the administration in New Jersey was just throwing prisoners on MCU and leaving them there. The average prisoner in MCU has been there for about a decade.

To circumvent this ruling the administration has canceled the programs preventing prisoners from reaching phase three which would render them eligible for release if the administration is unable to meet it's burden. I have more proof that this is the administration's intention. The court ruling was issued on July 2, 2010. Up until that ruling whenever a MCU prisoner would appeal the Management Control Unit review committees (MCURC) decision to continue his placement in MCU, the administrator would quickly respond to the appeal 99.9% of the time upholding the MCURC decision.

Let me explain. Every three months the prisoners in MCU are given what's called routine review where the committee decides whether or not the prisoner should be released or if his placement in MCU should be continued. Every MCU prisoner is allowed to attend even though you must be phase three to even be considered for release. This is not more than a ceremonial display and out right sham. Again, after these hearings about a week later you receive the MCURC decision on paper which you can appeal to the administrator. The decision from the court was issued July 2, 2010 and since that decision none of the MCU prisoners have received a response back from any of the routine review appeals which would be September 2010, December 2010, March 2011, and the last one June 2011. I do not believe in coincidences. As I said up until that decision from the court we were getting every single one of our appeals back.

There are a few prisoners in the MCU unit right now that are phase three and still the administration have not let them go. Not only have they not let them go, but by not responding to the appeals they are preventing prisoners from taking their case to the court. The court has ruled that before a prisoner can prevail on his complaint s/he must afford the administration the opportunity to make it's final decision. Thus, the administration is violating the MCU prisoners procedural due process rights! If this is not suppose to be a punitive unit and a general population for MCU prisoners, how do you explain the actions taken by the administration?

They have stopped me from being able to finish the programs, they have painted over my cell window so that I can't even see outside! I'm only allowed to go outside every four days and you cover my window. This is treatment one would expect to hear being done at Guantanamo Bay. Before the covering of the window the MCU unit was already a socially and sensory depriving unit. The prisoners are in single cells and the only time they come out in the unit is for a 15 minute shower one at a time. Thus any conversation is carried on by yelling through the crack of the door. The only contact you have with anyone is during recreation every four days. I truly hope that my concerns and suffering, as well as the concerns and suffering of the other prisoners will lead you to pick up our cause and help us fight for and defend our human and civil rights. We are still humans.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Lack of due process and group punishment were two of the main complaints behind the California hunger strike that started in the Pelican Bay SHU and included participation of at least 6600 prisoners across the state. As stated by the author these conditions of long-term isolation are very similar across the United $tates, as are the policies that keep people there. This example also parallels that in California where the courts are ordering the state to make release easier (whether from MCU or prison altogether). But the interests of the Amerikan workers has made sure that in neither case has the state government begun to comply with court orders. While the courts offer a facade of justice, the state continues on as it always has in its efforts to control oppressed people.

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[U.S. Imperialism] [ULK Issue 21]
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Assassination Nation: The World's Foremost Terrorist State is America

America is delusional. One need look no further than the Disney Corporation's attempt to trademark "SEAL Team 6," in order to market the image of paid killers as toys for children. How is this acceptable on any level? It's not, it's insane. In fact, a reasonable psychological diagnosis of the American state would conclude that it is severely schizophrenic.

Americans are indoctrinated since childhood to believe that America is a bastion of freedom, equality, and law; a bulwark against the lawlessness, murder, mayhem and terrorism that is rampant in the world today. Nevertheless, the reality is that America is the number one source of lawlessness and terrorism in the world today and has been for quite some time. Moreover, when America isn't committing acts of terrorism, it is abetting those that do, such as the European settler state in Palestine known as Israel.

America has many fine-sounding laws against assassination, hostage-taking, and torture (in a word "terrorism") but follows none of them. See the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, 28 USC §1602 et seq.; Civil Liability for Acts of State Sponsored Terrorism Act of 1996, 28 USC §1605 (i.e., the Flatow Amendment); Antiterrorism Act of 1990, 18 USC §2331, et seq.; and Torture Victims Protection Act of 1991, 28 USC §1350 (i.e., the Alien Tort Statute). Further, America is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, and the International Convention Against Taking Hostages, codified at 18 USC §1203.

All the foregoing laws and conventions expressly forbid the majority of acts taken by the American military in the world, but America ignores them all when it comes to its actions and only applies them to other countries when they dare try to emulate America's propensity for murder and mayhem. Long ago America's rulers chose to follow the old Spanish Colonial aphorism that "the law is to be obeyed but not followed."

For example, in Elahi v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 124 F. Supp. 2d 97, 107 (D.D.C. 2000), the court found Iran's murder of an American citizen fit the definition of an extra-judicial killing, as follows:


First, ...the assassination was a deliberate act. Second, Cyrus Elahi was not afforded the judicial process contemplated by the statute. Third, as this Court stated over twenty years ago, assassination is "clearly contrary to the precepts of humanity as recognized in both national and international law."[citation omitted.]

The American government's murder of Osama bin Laden on International Workers' Day, May 1, 2011, is no different than Iran's alleged murder of Cyrus Elahi and meets all three of the criteria set by the Elahi court. First, the assassination was a deliberate act. Second, he was not arrested and brought to trial, i.e., afforded judicial process. Third, assassination is illegal in accordance with national and international law. Bin Laden was summarily executed because, as a known CIA asset, he would have exposed secrets the American government did not want exposed.

The American government admitted bin Laden was unarmed and surrounded by his children, who had to be cleared out of the way, and at least one of his wives, who was shot in the leg, so as not to interfere in the U.S. Navy SEALs' hit. And hit it was, as bin Laden was shot once in the chest and once in the head in the classic assassination style known as the double-tap. No doubt there were powder burns surrounding his head wound, where the coup de grace was administered by these cold-blooded killers as he lay on the floor of his home, but we will never know as his body was promptly disposed of as is common in many professional hits.

Earlier the same day, it was reported that Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's youngest son and three grandchildren were murdered by NATO bombs dropped on their home. Whether it was done by American planes or not is of little matter, as we all know if the American government didn't support this bombing it wouldn't have happened. This was nothing less than an assassination attempt, that included the intentional bombing of civilians in their home, which was done in direct violation of the UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya via a no-fly zone and the laws and conventions cited above.

It should come as no surprise that the assassination target was Qadhafi, who was said to have been at the home and narrowly escaped along with his wife, as the American government has been trying to murder him for years. President Reagan had Qadhafi's home bombed on April 14, 1986, successfully murdering women and children but failing in his attempt to murder Qadhafi. President Obama has proclaimed his authority to assassinate anyone overseas, including American citizens, without a trial, so murdering Qadhafi would be no problem for him. Wives, daughters and sons are all just collateral damage.

America has never hesitated to murder civilians, men, women and children, in their homes. In WWII, America fire-bombed civilian targets in Germany and Japan's cities and used nuclear weapons on Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as the Japanese government tried to surrender. Post-WWII, the American government has targeted the people of Korea, the Congo, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and, now, Libya. My apologies if I left anyone out.

This campaign of control through terror is by no means limited to the rest of the world. Here in the good ol' USA, on May 13, 1985, the infamous "Mothers' Day Massacre" occurred, perpetrated by the police, who murdered 11 MOVE organization members, including children, in their home and incinerated an entire neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the full cooperation of the American government, who supplied the explosives used in the massacre.

Not to be outdone, the FBI murdered 76 people, including children, in Waco, Texas, by blowing up their home and burning them alive on April 19, 1993. The FBI has proven time and again that it is willing to murder whoever, wherever, whenever, from Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Chicago, Illinois, on December 4, 1969, to Randall Weaver's wife and son at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in August 1992. "No crime too foul" ought to be the FBI motto.

Speaking of mottos, the infamous mass-murderer and war criminal Harry S. Truman had a motto: "the buck stops here." No doubt, the buck should stop with the American presidents, but it also reaches back into the cesspools known as corporate boardrooms. Consequently, it is time to end this criminal reign of terror. Every single one of these criminals in high office, national or corporate, should be tried and hung as the murderers they are. To continue to allow them to run free, let alone run the country, makes us all complicit in their assassination nation. It is high time we, as Americans, put an end to our complicity and our complacency once and for all!

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[Campaigns] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Pelican Bay Striker: Drastic Approach Needed

I am one of the participants involved in the peaceful protest at Pelican Bay, basically and simply just to challenge our predicament. We've exhausted all other resources but no one within the system listens to our cries for human decency and respect. We are expected to abide by the designed laws of the state, but when we elect to exercise so-called given rights, we are condemned for such action.

A peaceful protest presents us the opportunity to demonstrate our humanity contrary to the misguided propaganda that's utilized to degrade and demean our intelligence. It is definitely a drastic approach and sometimes when there are no doable options, its necessary to take the struggle to the next level of development. Dialectical materialism teaches us about the science of reason and logical development in order to reach a synthesis to whatever that contradiction is, anything that isn't growing is definitely stagnant!

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[Political Repression]
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Relating to ULK Articles on False Validation

I was recently given the privilege of reading your newsletter Under Lock and Key number 20. I was very impressed with the variety of topics and issues discussed at length in your newsletter. Some of the issues addressed hit home with me, particularly because I have and am experiencing the exact same, or incidences that juxtapose with the issues in your newsletter. Specifically, the articles False Validation Campaign in California, and Forced into SNY for Political Organization.

My current status and situation, and what led to my current housing status and prior events, correlates to both articles. I arrived at Pleasant Valley State Prison (level III) in December 2009 from High Desert State Prison (level IV), on a bi-annual favorable transfer. In January 2010 I attended my initial classification committee (ICC) and received my CDCR 128-G chrono. It indicated I am a member of the "Ansar El Muhammad" (AEM) disruptive group.

When I arrived in December 2009, while being processed through receiving/release (RR) I was called an extremist-terrorist by CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) staff and my religious properties were confiscated. At the time I didn't give this event any value, except that I filed a CDCR 602 (complaint). But since then multiple incidence of retaliation, harassment, false claims and the confiscation and destruction of my religious property has occurred. Furthermore housing assignment staff and building floor staff have been putting active gang members in my cell, and as result I've been assaulted, received multiple threats of violence from prisoners and staff, labeled a snitch, received a rule violation report (CDCR 115) for refusing to cell up with any more gang members, and currently I'm in Administrative Segregation (pending SNY) transfer.

CDCR staff have falsified chronos in my central file (C-file) dating back to 2006, and I didn't discover this until 2010. It is my strong belief that prison officials have manipulated and orchestrated prisoners since 2006 to cause me physical harm, as I was stabbed and assaulted in 2006.

In 2009 I settled out of court for a §1983 civil complaint I filed in 2007 for the stabbing of 2006. But I strongly believe that somewhere in my central file prison officials have kept a record that I received an out-of-court settlement against prison officials (CDCR), which is what is and has motivated prison officials (Green Wall) to use these tactics of falsifying records and manipulating prisoners to continue to cause me physical harm.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This false jacketing of prisoners and setting up divisions and fights as retaliation against those who exercise their legal rights to protest abuses in prison is a common practice. This is a strong reason for our campaign to build a United Front for Peace in prisons. A key principle of this United Front is unity among those facing the same struggle.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [United Front] [ULK Issue 21]
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United Front for Peace


Fuck the hatred
It's time for changes
To free this world from the oppressor
It's time for us to make some better arrangements
In order to make our lives better
Revolution's the lesson
Not oppression as a profession
Anti-imperialist
Being groomed for a new session
Educate each other
As we're one within this struggle
United in this Front for Peace
Because Revolution is on the bubble

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[National Oppression] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 22]
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Gang Validation for Doing Aztec Art

I am doing an indeterminate SHU program for being validated in the last place I was at. And the reason they validated me is because I was doing a lot of Aztec art as well as Aztec tats, which they didn't agree with because they considered it to be associated with the “big boys.” So they locked me down. But what they fail to realize is it's all part of our culture. Yet to them it's based on association, so they see a direct link to prison politics. So here I sit on the shelf locked down in this crazy and very sad place where it's all about no movement whatsoever.

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[Abuse] [Kentucky State Reformatory] [Kentucky] [ULK Issue 22]
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Beating as Retaliation for Filing Grievances

I was brutally beaten by seven correctional officers (COs) in December and was transported to the hospital as a result. They almost killed me. My hands were restrained the whole time while they maced and punched me in the face continually. I was kicked in the stomach and elsewhere.

This is the second time that I have been sent to the hospital for officer brutality. The first time was when CO Goins cut my hand wide open and I had to get stitches. I have been forced to endure constant harassment, degradation, malicious behavior, discrimination, etc. All of this has happened to me as a result of "retaliation" for the many grievances that I've submitted for CO Goins stealing my jewelry out of my property bag. When I started grieving this and other matters, other officers joined him in retaliation against me.

There's a lot more to this matter but this letter is just to reveal some of what I've gone through and am experiencing. This beating took place six months ago, but the campaign of harassment has been going on longer.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Unfortunately brutality is not an uncommon response by prison guards against prisoners who try to fight injustice and illegal guard abuse through the grievance system. This is why United Struggle from Within initiated a campaign to demand our grievances be addressed. There are currently petitions for California, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, and we need help to create petitions for other states. Write to us to get involved.

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[Spanish] [ULK Issue 31]
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La Falta de Educación está limitando la Vanguardia

por un preso de Tejas, Mayo 2011


¡Saludos y respetos!

He Recibido su propuesta para promover la paz entre las masas inferiores. Está en circulación.

Mi crítica es que, al menos aquí en Tejas, hay muchos chavalones que no tienen conocimiento alguno de cómo manejar relaciones sociales. El nivel de comprensión de estos jóvenes es muy bajo. El apoyo y respaldo [de ULK] ha amparado nuestra lucha, pero aún el problema persiste en que el promedio de los presos en mi bloque tienen 20 años de edad. Debido a recortes presupuestarios, nuestras oportunidades de educación son cada día menos. Todas nuestras solicitudes para programación educativa en el bloque han sido negadas. Y aún dicen que no calificamos para ningún tipo de programa educativo, debido a nuestro estatus civil y contradicciones en la política administrativa.

Estos chavalones no pueden ni leer ni escribir ni hacer simple matemáticas. ¿Cómo es que van a entender las obras de Marx, de Mao y del Che? Estoy pidiendo su apoyo para realizar un curso básico que le ayudaría a nuestros jóvenes desarrollar su conciencia social.

Yo soporto y respaldo completamente sus propuestas de paz. Pero, el plan de Tookie es demasiado básico. ¿Cuáles la esencia de este plan? Estos mensos necesitan aprender a leer y a escribir y a desarrollar su capacidad para resolver problemas antes de entrar a la arena política.


MIM(Prisiones) responde: ¿Qué clase de sistema opresivo le quita la oportunidad de educación a aquellos en los rangos menores? El sistema está creado con el propósito de perpetuar el estado inferior de las clases marginales en la nación. Esto demuestra la importancia de MIM(Prisiones) en la lucha por programas educativos para nuestro pueblo. Necesitamos donaciones, mecanógrafos y otros recursos para seguir ampliando este importante labor.

Como se destaca en esta edición de ULK hemos ampliado nuestros cursos de estudios preliminares y actualmente estamos desarrollando un glosario revolucionario, ambos con el fin de educar a los ignorantes. Sin embargo, todavía necesitamos más clases de recuperación. Estamos investigando esta cuestión y le agradeceríamos sus opiniones para corroborar este tipo de trabajo. Estamos de acuerdo que uno solo no se puede enseñar a leer y a escribir a través del correo. Es por eso que nuestra vanguardia debe luchar para realizar este tipo de programación educativa desde adentro. La educación es un requisito importante para la creación de una Frente Único hacia la paz.

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[Organizing] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 22]
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HDSP USW report: Pigs Bribe Prisoners Not to Strike

Here's an update on what's going on at High Desert State Prison: A second Correctional Officer was busted for bringing in drugs and phones. Boby Joe Corby was arrested for accepting $10,000 for that. And we just had an Afrikan national overdose on heroin 3 days ago.

The pigs here were feeding us double the amount of food to prevent us from going on the hunger strike - it only lasted a couple of days (July 1 - 3).

I have been doing a lot of organizing to unite the nations captive in these U.$. warehouses. A lot of my homies tell me I am crazy because I want to revolutionize my mentality, as well as my fellow brothaz, from criminal to revolutionary, to stand up and fight for true freedom.

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[Organizing] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Ad-Seg Joins Pelican Bay Hunger Strike July 8

hunger strike outreach san quentin
Hunger strike supporters outreach to visiting friends and family as hunger strike begins.
We in facility "A" Ad-Seg Unit A1 will be following suit with a hunger strike July 8 2011, one week after the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) strike begins here at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP). Your support would be highly appreciated.

I am requesting to be provided the PBSP SHU strike campaign update with flier. Any information that you could assist in this endeavor would be greatly appreciated.

Letters or phone calls made in support of the abolishment of these foul, inhumane and unsanitary living conditions would be highly appreciated.

Thank you. Could you please forward most recent Under Lock & Key.

Thank you.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We have received news from other A units in Pelican Bay that they are going to be participating in the hunger strike as well. Isolation is so severe in Pelican Bay that many had not heard of the strike until receiving our notice, but word is spreading through many avenues and supporters on the outside and support is strong and growing.

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