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Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [Florida]
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Staying strong is our obligation

As I write this communique I am in an empty cell void of all creature comforts. I am on 72 hour linen and clothing restriction because an officer lied and wants to make me commit suicide. I sit in this "think tank" of steel and concrete and I contemplate life in its totality. I wonder will I live to see better times? Will I ever get out of the belly of this beast or will I die and my memories be forgotten like so many before me. Even though I have a release date nothing is promised to anyone. There is no guarantee that I won't be murdered by these officers just like Ra'd (RIP).

As I contemplate my current state of existence I wonder do I have the fortitude and resilience to endure the bad just like I enjoyed the good? Surely it doesn't take no hell of a lot of wisdom to realize with good days there will be bad days. Some bad days will include having officers tamper with your food, mail, lie on you. Get your property taken away. Get bogus write-ups and anything else they can think of to grind your soul down to a fine powder and blow you to the wind. I have had the good days where no officer is harassing me. All my mail is coming on time. I eat all the canteen I can buy. Even had the people in the courts grant some appeals.

I accepted those good days with the vibrant anticipation of one day being free, and so now I must feel the pure reality of my life and the low state in which I have allowed myself to fall. I must open my eyes wide to the moment that speaks of bondage, oppression, suffering, and despair. I must pay close attention to the lesson being taught, lest I prove to be an unworthy student in this school of hard knocks. I must not let cold steel and concrete crush my will to be a strong man. I will not let the sadistic intent of those who are mere minions for the imperialists have victory over my existence.

It is my solemn vow to the memories and hard fought efforts of my ancestors to be stronger than anything these people can inflict upon me. I get weary and depressed. I get discouraged and confused, but those are the pains that come before the gain.

I implore of you comrades everywhere to not give up. Thoughts of suicide are wasted thoughts that could be better spent. When things are at their worst, think of all the other hard times you've made it through. No matter what, don't let the beast crush your will to survive. Don't let the beast crush your soul. Staying strong is our obligation.

MIM(prisons) adds: When faced with sterile, tortuous conditions, people with something to hold onto to keep them going can usually make it through. Some find that in family, or religion, or fighting for justice. However, self-preservation in and of itself is not a righteous goal, by proletarian moral standards. As Mao said, a reactionary's life is as light as a feather.

We do promote revolutionary organizing as a better solution to depression and other difficult mental states. It is better, because it is by struggling against the conditions and systems that created your mental state that you can both overcome the problems you face as an individual and prevent others from having to go through the same difficulties.

Whether its thoughts of one's ancestors who stood strong or of those you know who submitted to depression and drug abuse. Wherever we find our inspiration, all people who are part of an injust system (as we all are) are obligated to change that system. That is the moral code of those who have nothing to lose but their chains.

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[National Oppression] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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False gang validations to repress Latinos

I am writing to you to seek advice, assistance or referral on how to get word out about biased racial profiling, mass validation, and their failure to follow their own policies and laws. Now let me just give a quick run down on what is going on here at High Desert State Prison (HDSP). In August 2009, the California Department of Corrections' goon squad, Institutional Gang Investigators, took all personal property from all "northern Hispanic" inmates on C-facility and at this time removed between 40 to 50 "northern Hispanics" from the mainline and validated us as prison gang members. Several inmates were placed on potty watch. (This is where inmates are placed in a diaper taped up and handcuffed 24 hours a day and forced to use a plastic bag to relieve themselves.) The inmates were eventually validated as gang members and are retained in ASU and we are not being transferred to appropriate prisons. Most of the points used against us were either made up or do not meet guidelines of the law to validate us. There are a lot of violations of federal and state laws going on here but I'm going to keep this brief.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The U.$. imperialists have divided the Chicano Nation (and Latinos in general) in California by drawing a line across the middle of the state and labeling those who grew up north of that line "northern Hispanics." They call the "northerners" and "southerners" gangs worthy of repression, yet countless comrades have been forced into these groups by the CDCR themselves. Early in the process, they assigned certain prisons and units to "northerners" and others to "southerners." Then when they want to lock up all the Latinos they can do so and say they are dealing with a "gang."

It is an absolute joke that this thinly veiled form of national oppression passes as legal in a bourgeois democracy. Of course, there are neo-colonial agents that have played into these divisions from the beginning. Just as the Amerikans divided Korea and Vietnam between north and south by setting up puppet leaderships, they have done the same in U.$.-occupied Aztlán. This is why the demand for the unification of oppressed nations and their territories is an inherently anti-imperialist demand.

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[Medical Care] [California State Prison, Sacramento] [California]
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Medical care is a sham

The medical and mental health services in here is bad news. Either by sham or lack of care, or none at all. I have bad allergies and a doctor here at CSP-SAC [California State Prison - Sacramento] took me off my allergy medication to treat it. And even worse, a guy who had cancer was taken off his meds that treats his cancer.

For a time, between 1997 and 2001, I was constantly cell extracted and beaten by prison officials just for filing grievances/litigation and standing up for yard, showers, store, mail, medical, law library access, etc.

At this current time I am back in the hole. I've been here a little over a year for not accepting a celly. As I stand up to oppression I stand high to death or victory.

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[Abuse] [Kansas] [ULK Issue 15]
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No longer suicidal, fighting for the revolution

I was reading ULK 13 about the Illinois prisoner driven to suicide and I understand why he seeks death. They say I'm very suicidal, but that was before I was enlightened by your publication. We have nothing to live for, but I say, but for the revolution. These imperialist and capitalist countries have been destroying the proletariat long enough. My fellow comrade has put in several cases against this prison to fix their new control unit they just modified. The windows are about 4 feet high and 4 to 6 inches wide, and they still placed bars across them. This is one of the new modifications to the Long Term Segregation (LTS) unit. They barricaded the door, so they said, because they were afraid it'd get kicked off the hinges. What a crock of shit. And this is going to be done to this small mental health prison of 400 crazy people including some minimum security on the hill. There is a suicide attempt daily here and all they do is lock us in a room, naked, for several hours before we get a security blanket. Then we have to wait and beg for a gown or other things like toilet paper. I had a long talk with the psych doctor explaining our torture but I got a deaf ear now that I stopped being stupid and going on crisis. They threaten to place me on LTS. They hear me speak to people in population, so I had only 20 days out before I was placed back in seg. I am currently on strike from taking medication I don't need, so I only take what they can force me to take, 1 pill out of 10 of my anti-psychotics. Brothers we can only dedicate this life to the revolution. The KKK have evolved from white hoods to SORT gear and chemical agents. We must unite and fight.

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[Spanish] [Texas] [ULK Issue 15]
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Rap Chicano y el lenguaje contra la asimilacón

Pensé escribir con respeto a su décima edición que recibí y disfrutí mucho. Con respeto al tema principal "hip-hop", el cual no soy aficionado, hice un buen reflejo a como la cultura dominante conocida como el angloamericano explota a las clases bajas, y/o, los grupos minorías. Aunque la cultura angloamericana es la más común en sus influencias, los capitalistas que forman parte de esta clase angloamerican no tienen respeto ni a su propia raza y cultura cuando se hablan del símbolo del dinero.

Siendo nacido en los años 50, yo formaba parte del movimiento de los derechos civiles para los Chicanos durante el período entre el medio de los años 60 hasta el comienzo de los años 70. Por eso, me dí cuenta de que mi raza estaba harto de la supresión de nuestro ser y cultura cometido por parte de los angloamericanos. Lo que la raza angloamericana queria de nosotros los habitantes del area sudoeste de los E.E.U.U. fue la asimilación cultural, ¡punto! La asimilación no funciona para la mayoria de nosotros, con solo un poco integrando en la sociedad angloamericana. Sin embargo, me preocupen esos pocos que se asimilaron. Estos "asimiladores" no hicieron nada más que imitar a otros que vivían antes los cuales olvidaban su propia cultura porque solo se interesaban tener conocimientos deliberados del proceso de asimilación angloamericano.

Antes de mi encarcelamiento en 1990, la música "rap" era muy conocida y ya se estaba entrando muy fuerte en los mayores ciudades metropolitanos de Texas. Mientras yo cumplía con mi sentencia en los añs 90, este típo de música progresé y evolucioné mucho. Observé que la rap estaba bien mirado y oído, con muchos de mi Raza imitando las expresiones (lenguaje) de la cultura hip-hop que estaba penetrando por todas partes de la sociedad del mundo libre hasta las instituciones penales. Me costó mucho trabajo saber que estos aficionados de rap no puedieron hablar, ni entender su propio lenguaje, español (ni siquiera el más util Spanglish, Cali, o Pachuco). Reflexionando en todo eso, me dí cuenta de que el culpable de esta forma astuto de asimilación angloamericano fue el capitalista angloamericano quien controla las medias de comunicación para el propósito de destruir cualquier cultura que no sea igual a la suya.

Aunque yo en este momento considero el rap "Chicano" que origina de California como una forma de luchar contra el proceso de asimilación, los capitalistas anglosajones no han adoptado ni aceptaron esta forma de "expresión" Chicano (ni "rap" Latino, en general). El autor o editor del trabajo escrito titulado "Hip Hop: Living Culture or Commodity?" en ingles o Hip-Hop: ¿Cultura viviente o mercancía? nos enseñó muy bien como un capitalista y la sociedad dominante angloamericano son capaces de destruir otras culturas cueste lo que cueste. Pero al leer esta composición, ví que el discurso no discutía como la comercialización angloamericano del "hip-hop" en el corriente principal tiene como agenda la eliminación del lenguaje cultural de cualquier persona.

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[Spanish] [Washington] [ULK Issue 15]
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Prisiones usando a agentes para descubrir a prisioneros activos

El estar confinado en este nuevo milenio me ha llevado a preguntarme a cerca de la inteligencia de los prisioneros que reciben beneficios del robo, la apropiación y las acciones criminales de aquellos encargados de hacer cumplir las leyes, normas y regulaciones. Aquí hay prisioneros que aceptan de los funcionarios de prisiones, revistas, libros y otros artículos de valor que pertenecen a otros prisioneros y sonríen y carcajean maliciosamente diciendo que aparecieron. Básicamente a expensas de otro prisionero. Es la misma vieja práctica utilizada con los presos desprevenidos una y otra vez para la ejecución del derecho. Son vistos como potenciales fuentes de información, los usan hasta que no sirven y los tiran de vuelta a los leones con el divertimiento acostumbrado.

Por más que lo intento, no puedo entender por qué un prisionero se sale de su camino para proporcionar a los vigilantes y oficiales de prisiones información que implica que ese prisionero sea miembro o esté asociado con una banda organizada de la prisión, de la calle u otro grupo perjudicial, y que automáticamente supone atención especializada y consideraciones acerca de su ubicación, que podrían incluir permanecer confinado indefinidamente en una Unidad de Máxima Seguridad hasta que ese individuo delata a sus compañeros, muere o sale bajo libertad condicional, sin embargo parece haber una nueva aceptación de todo esto.

Me hace gracia cuando veo a alguno de esos personajes jactándose y fanfarroneando de estar respaldados por las autoridades por ser miembros de una banda, mientras se aseguran de preguntar a otros, normalmente aprovechando la presencia de los “trajes de pepino”: “¿estás activo?”. Es como si el nuevo concepto de sistema penal no se tratase sólo de chismorrear a cerca de uno mismo, sino también de engañar a los demás para que chismorreen de sí mismos. Es como si el agente instigador de prisiones haya ganado aceptación y un simbolismo de nuevo estatus.

Cuando me preguntan si estoy activo, tengo que preguntar: “activo en qué?”, pues como ocurre con muchos otros conceptos del idioma inglés, se ha reducido a significar sólo una cosa para el idiotizado prisionero, pero en realidad significa algo significativamente más oneroso para los guardias. Y no es un secreto, pero muchos de los habitantes de la prisión tienen todavía que entender o darse cuenta de la importancia de estos conceptos e ideas que están siendo entretejidas en la estructura social de la fábrica de la prisión, forzando a muchos hombres de verdad a adoptar posiciones anti-sociales para permanecer lejos de la crucifixión.

No me pierdo demasiado, siendo un común habitante de la prisión con conciencia. Sin embargo he notado que hay demasiados idiotas que son aduladores de un antiguo concepto que ha mutado y se ha transformado en algo realmente malévolo. Uno tiene que volver a la idea número uno de “no confiar en nadie” con algo de alguna importancia. Aquellos que son de verdad uno puede adivinarlo, y aquellos que no, terminarán por descubrirse a sí mismos. Concienciaos a vosotros mismos y prestad atención, es todo lo que puedo aconsejaros en esta trampa del CDCR (siglas para el Departamento de Correcciones y Rehabilitación de California), en la que muchos no consideran la realidad de la lucha, y en su lugar practican la aceptación.

En lucha y solidaridad,

John Q. Convicto

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[Abuse] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California]
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Brutality in San Diego

We live here at pig central, Richard J. Donovon Correctional Bitch Facility. If you ever want your 14th or 8th Amendment rights violated or be treated like an animal come visit for a while. Prisoner or citizen they don't discriminate.

I want to share a little story with you. On November 12, 2009 I was in my cell and I broke my window out in protest to some rights of mine that were being violated with the food. Once my window was shattered c/o Rucker and c/o Davis came up to my cell claiming they were moving me to another cell, so I cuffed up without argument or a fight, when my door opened c/o Rucker grabbed me by my throat and slammed me into the top locker head first. I slumped to the floor, Rucker and Davis then picked me up and slammed me into the top bunk striking my chest area with my wind knocked out of me again. I sank to the floor where again they picked me up and slammed me onto the bottom bunk, Rucker forced my arms up as far as humanly possible without decapitating. He placed his knee with all his force into my back so I couldn't move, while Davis struck me several times in the right ribs and lower back, they both then picked me up and drug me through the broken glass down the tier to the stairs. I got to my feet before they could toss me down the stairs. Once I was downstairs they slammed me into a cage, then pushed me into the cage forcing me to strike my left knee on the steel seat. They then went to their area and concocted a lie that I had assaulted them both, they came back to the cage 5 or 10 minutes later and activated the alarm system.

When the nurse came, well actually before she came, Rucker told me I better pretend nothing happened or another beating would follow. So I lied to the nurse, saying my hands were swollen and my wrist possibly broke because I had been punching the wall. I then claimed I was suicidal so that I could go to TTA for protection (the hospital here), where I then became an "enhanced outpatient inmate" and I was moved to another building specifically designed for mentally ill patients, I"m far from being a basket case but I have my problems.

I waited until their time constraints ran out to write me up for staff assault, which I did not do. Then I filed my appeal on what happened and the misconduct I'm currently in Sacramento at the directors level awaiting his response, so I can take it to the courts on a USC 1983 civil suit. X has been putting me up on legal knowledge and showing how to pursue it, he has been a great help to me on the legal know how. I will fight tooth and nail for justice. This story is actually a lot more complicated, but I do have copies of documents they later falsified and tried to back date. These pigs are stupid.

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[Organizing] [Texas]
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Living Unity

The most common reasons brothers in Texas and many other states will not unite on their plantations is because of race. And the fact that they feel we can't win regardless of what we do or how hard we fight. I feel also it's because they are scared of what would happen if we did win. It could also be that they are scared of what they might learn about the next race and feel about the next race after we unite.

It's common to hear somebody say "I can't say nothing because he not my race." But in most cases they wouldn't speak up if the next man was. Many people claim to have the upmost "love & respect" for their "people". But would not hesitate to hurt one of their "people" over a bag of coffee or a two dollar bet. What a way to show that you love your "people."

But it never mattered and never will matter who your "people" are, or what race we are. Because in truth we are one and the same. We are oppressed and walking a thin line on each and every plantation. So it's sad to see the New Afrikans and Latinos fight and bicker over nothing. Because we all know that New Afrikans and Latinos come from very similar backgrounds and struggles. But most of us are scared of unity between the two, simply because we are scared of the unknown.

So in result we'll hear brothers, black and brown, preach unity with so much passion. They'll go so far as threaten the slave masters with unity and scream about taking a "stand." but will never actually live out this "unity" they stress is so important. Because they feel we can't beat the "man" anyway. But how do we know unless we try?

So what we fail to realize is that we become the man. When we help to oppress our brothers. So what we really are is the oppressor talking about unity! Now most will say "I'll never oppress one of my own." But will turn an eye when somebody is being extorted just because he's not "tough enough." Or keep walking when we see an "inmate" being beat by the slave masters. Then get back on the block and say "that would never happen if we show unity."

So we end up right where we started "talking" about unity. But in truth it's not about "talking" about or showing unity. It's about living unity. But not just when the slave masters are watching. But in every thing we do, how we live, and how we care ourselves. Regardless of race, families, gangs, and where's somebody's from. Once we begin to live unity amongst ourselves it will begin to manifest itself. And then reveal itself in the most important times.

So when we talk about organizing "strategies and tactics." We should focus on how to get everybody to start living unity instead of just talking about it.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We would add to the thought "how do we know unless we try?" that there is reason to have strategic confidence when we embrace internationalism. As a small oppressed group, how can we end oppression? But most people in the world are oppressed by imperialism, and MIM(Prisons) has confidence that billions of people are stronger than the wealth and technology of the imperialist powers. By strategizing together we can begin to build the unity necessary to make that victory a reality.

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[Control Units] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
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High Desert, CA Control Units

High Desert State Prison
I am currently in this Control Unit(CU).
There are 96 cells which are mostly housing two prisoners each for a max of 192, but a handful of single cells make it about 187.
The whole prison is not a CU. Z-unit is the only full time CU built for this specific purpose. However three building on D-yard, 6-7-8 blocks, are currently used as overflow and to reward snitches, PCs with comforts and luxuries not afforded to those who see the beast for what it is.

80% or more of the population is Hispanic, 15% white, and 5% Black. A large majority of us are "validated" as prison gang members/associates and are thereby automatically deemed threats to the safety of others and the security of the institution. This is illegal as none of us have been designated "current active" in prison gangs by OCS, which is the agency responsible for dealing with prison gangs. Likewise, the evidence gathered and used to label us members/associates is also fraudulent and goes against the requirements set forth by their own rules and regulations. Others are here for weapons being planted on them or in their cells. A few are here for stabbing/fighting with other prisoners.

I believe this CU opened in 2005/2006

It was built solely to serve as a CU

We are unaware of state plans to open new CUs but we believe it is inevitable due to the mass "validation sweeps" across California prisons.

At this time Z-unit is run by staff that have little respect for our conditions. We are being denied clothing exchange on a weekly basis. In lieu of that we are given half a bar of soap to wash our clothes and even that is thrown on the ground and kicked under our doors instead of being given to us through the tray slots like decent human beings. We are closed off from the outside world with no access to TVs/radios that are available in other CUs. We are also limited to a single book or magazine in our cells at a time.

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[Spanish] [California]
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Medicamentando a fuerza en prisión

Yo tiroteo en pensar que nuestros "sirvientes públicos" están borrando las mentes de ciudadanas estadounidenses con drogas, y que las cortes son tan ineptos hasta acudir trazos insidiosas como medicamentos forzados. ¡Drogas psicotrópicas no son más que envenenamientos lentos! Es una amenaza a la vida, la salud, la mente, y la religión de uno. Las cortes pueden pensar que ellos tienen el derecho legal de borrar las mentes de ciudadanos nacidos libre, pero no solamente es una violación flagrante de nuestros derechos, además es un intento de homicidio. Por lo tanto he elegido protestar en contra de esta atrocidad con una huelga de hambre a padecer de hambre hasta que este envenenamiento malvado pare o yo muera. Yo preferiría morir que verme deteriorarme despacio hacia tal degradación horrenda de vida.

Fui informado que si intento esto ellos obtendrán un orden de la corte a alimentarme forzosamente por un tubo corriendo dentro mi nariz y bajando por mi garganta mientras esté atado a una camilla. Entonces ellos podrán inyectarme con drogas por una jeringa. Por esto, para salvarme la mente, mi salud, y mi vida, me siento que no tengo alternativa fuera de declarar casi cualquier casa que las cortes y el fiscal del distrito quieran de mi para parar este envenenamiento de mi miente, mi cuerpo, y mi alma. Es irónico que esta guerra contra las drogas es usado para desacreditar varias drogas y personas, y luego para forzar ciertas drogas horridas sobre algunas personas y llamarlo legítimo.

MIM(Prisiones) añade: Este camarada hace un importante conexión entre los varios usos de drogas por el estado. Mientras muchos prisioneros están sufriendo de dolencias físicas a causa de ser negados la atención médica que la gente por afuera tienen con acceso fácil, otros no tienen problema agarrando sus "medicinas" que son frecuentemente forzados en de ellos para controlar sus químicas del cerebro. Ambas situaciones dan testimonio de la terrible pérdida de vida que el sistema perpetúa.

También véase un reporte anterior escrito por una camarada californiano en Under Lock & Key 5: Using psychology to drug political prisoners (Usando la psicología a medicamentar presos políticos)

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