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Under Lock & Key

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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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[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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[Organizing] [Abuse] [Potosi Correctional Center] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 14]
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CO undermines hunger strike, causes death

On March 6, James McKinney died at Potosi Correctional Center. In the Washington County paper it said natural causes (heart attack). Now for the real story. James McKinney was in solitary confinement with me. So I'm giving you a first person account of the events that I believe led to this man's death. In early or mid-February McKinney was assigned to cell 2C-20 for a minor infraction. His first couple of days there he ran afoul of COI Shannon Clubbs (as many prisoners do). COI Clubbs harassed and verbally abused McKinney daily. In protest of this ill treatment James McKinney declared a hunger strike. He also sent a letter of protest to Senator Robin Wright-Jones.

When you have missed a certain amount of meals, you are automatically referred to medical personnel for a physical. Two times when he was approaching this certain amount of missed meals COI Clubbs opened McKinney's food port and threw a noon-time meal in his cell. He then logged as if McKinney accepted a meal, effectively rescinding the food strike. The second time Clubbs did this McKinney screamed on the walk that Clubbs was setting him up, Clubbs was laughing and taunting him the whole time. To add insult to injury, he also gave McKinney a conduct violation for accepting a food tray and then not returning it when the meal was over. This is a common and favorite tactic of confinement COIs. We (all the prisoners) did kick and holler for assistance from other COIs to no avail, so when McKinney finally saw medical, he was in worse shape than they thought, because he had missed triple the meals as the files indicated because of Clubbs manipulating the files, but no one would listen to him or us. He wrote a letter to Senator Robin Wright-Jones explaining the harassment by PCC staff in general and COI Clubbs in particular. I'm not sure how long it was, but it was well past 2 weeks, maybe 3 before he was convinced to eat, the first couple of days in March early in the morning he was complaining about chest and he went to medical as a self-declared patient - 3 or 4 days later he was dead.

I'm not a doctor and I don't know anything about his health or lack of health, but he wasn't overweight, looked to be in good shape, a quiet respectful brother. I asked him a couple of times if he was cool and he said he had things under control. I tried to rally everyone to form a peaceful protest, but these passive-assed conformed-as-slaves won't put up any type of resistance. My focus is COI Clubbs. Me and a couple of comrades wrote letters to Senator Robin Wright-Jones, State Rep Linda Fischer, Lisa Jones of constituent services. I have several copies of complaints on COI Clubbs in the last 6 or 7 months, about his abuse, harassment.

I just don't know what to do next. I am not afraid of them so educate me and tool me up and I'll stay on their asses here. Several convicts have won suits against them over the years. They pay but never change their repressive policies.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We print this article to continue our discussion about which strategies and tactics are available and useful to us in our struggles to end oppression worldwide. We need to analyze our options with a realistic and material perspective, and with that we need to measure their limitations. One lesson we can learn from this prisoner's tragic death is that hunger strikes by individuals are vulnerable to manipulation by COs and administration. As we explained to another comrade in ULK 13, a protest needs to be well-planned and considered from all angles. The more we can learn about the limitations of our tactics, the better equipped we will be to use them effectively.

Another error we would point out is the assertion that COI Clubbs is a problem separate from the repression of the imperialist system. We think it is important to bring attention to this abuse, and to name names for accountability's sake. But focusing all energy on getting COI Clubbs fired doesn't impact imperialism in general. In fact, it does the opposite by reinforcing the idea that the system is good; that the problem is just a few "bad apples" who can be dealt with on an individual level. In our agitational work, it is important to be clear about what the true problem is and the correct strategy to address that problem.

The fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of prison staff with similar accusations against them demonstrate that firing one guard does not usually improve the conditions of prisoners at a particular facility. In other words, getting Clubbs fired doesn't ensure that the next guy that goes on hunger strike won't face the same fate. However, developing strategy among prisoners who are facing these conditions and building outside support will help avoid such tragedies and make comrades' lives last longer and be more effective in their resistance.

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[Abuse] [Connecticut]
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8th call to assist

On December 22, 2009 a guard was assaulted, and I am accused. I was attacked by a hoard of guards. If you have ever seen a bunch of wild animals during a feeding frenzy that is exactly how they acted. I was taken to the floor, there were 13 to 17 guards on top of me. This one supervisor named Germond sprayed me directly at point blank range with a long blast of chemical agent (pepper spray - mace) the powerful chemical effectively took all of my air and went up my nasal passage, of my frontal lobe, he then shook the can and saturated my face with another longer blast, all over my face. The chemical becomes very hot once it touched your skin, burning ever hotter, the more air it is exposed to.

A Guantanamo type mask was placed over my entire head, effectively cutting off my ability to breath even further, coupled with the fact that I had over 1200 pounds on top of me. I could not expand my diaphragm and I was on the verge of blacking out. Actually suffocation via asphyxiation. I was fortunate that I had my arms to the front, and with every ounce of my strength I was able to turn enough to get some air. This one guard was violently punching me in the jaw, another one was drop kneeing me (standing up and dropping down on me with his knee). There was someone trying to hurt, if not break my legs, while yet another one was trying to break my fingers, I had to make a fist to prevent this.

They finally put leg irons and handcuffs on me, the leg irons were so tight I was unable to walk. I was suppose to be put under cold water to decontaminate me. Instead they put me under hot water, which caused excruciating pain as the chemicals got into my pores. And this was done on purpose just to cause me pain. Due to the leg irons being so tight I was unable to walk, so they dragged me down this quarter mile long hallway. I was put in this dirty filthy cell, in all the years of doing time I have never been in a cell that was a foul as this one was, it smelled like the den of a wild beast, there was dried blood, urine and spit on the floor and walls. The toilet had crud on the outside, and about an inch on the inside. I was chained to a bed, 4 pointed. They have managed to transform the use of this therapeutic, mental health procedure, to a form of punishment and torture, and it was amplified in my case by chaining one of my arms up and down which is reported to cause pain, and did cause me pain. And such practice is in violation of the DOC's own policy.

As they were putting the chains on me, these two sad excuses for human beings, named Sisk and Thomas were putting their feet on the edge of the bed to gain leverage, so they could pull the chains as tight as physically possible, to assure I would be in maximum pain. They applied so much pressure, they hyper-extended my collar bone, which remains painful and swollen. I was 4 pointed over night, and it was probably the longest night of my life. Every second in pain and being burned by the chemicals on your face. I was denied water by Lt. Germond, as though this was not enough, my cloths were ripped and cut off of me until I was totally naked, the cell was colder than a refrigerator. A useless cotton porous blanket was put over top of me, but my feet were only inches away from the back wall, which was like a block of ice, you could feel the cold radiating from the wall as much as a foot away. I was truly afraid that my feet would become frostbitten. I was unable to sleep the entire 12 hours I was chained.

Once they removed me from the stationary chaining, I was 3 pointed, placed in handcuffs, leg irons and a tether chain which connected the hands to the feet. And the tether chain was short chained, another illegal procedure applied to keep you bent over, unable to stand erect, and causes pain in your lower back. I was left like this for 4 days. The floor was dirty and made of concrete, and I had no socks or shoes. The toilet could only be flushed from the outside, and in 9 days it was only flushed 4 times. The first couple of days I was not fed at all, it was not until an internal affairs officer came did they start feeding me. (This guard named St. John led the charge not to feed me.) Soon after they started feeding me, the guards started urinating and spitting in my food, so I did not eat anything but drink the milk and juice for the next nine days.

Immediately after the incident every Tom, Dick and Harry was writing false disciplinary reports on me. The purpose was to keep me without my radio. That is how their sick twisted minds work as they try to break me. I am also without my property, and they are keeping me isolated. But you may rest assured, I actually see it as a badge of honor. I was moved after 9 days to what amounted to the Ku Klux Klan's den, run by the Grand Dragon, Captain Chaill. As the head goes, so goes the body. They have been, and continue to subject me to all kinds of unsavory and discriminatory treatment, not giving me my out of cell exercise, forcing me to go out in inclement weather without being adequately dressed, coming up with all kinds of arbitrary and capricious rules that only apply to me. Once in that unit they started urinating in my coffee. I prepared some samples of the coffee and sent them to the state police, governor, commissioner, warden and the Grand Dragon, to be tested for DNA. The Grand Dragon came to my cell with a larger contingent of guards and put me back into the same filthy type cell in isolation. The charge was using the mail to send my sample. He lied and said that I purported it to be a sample of my urine sent in retaliation. These cells are supposed to be used to control someone being violent. He used it solely as punishment and retaliation. (I was kept in chains again for 3 days, the same filthy, dirty, cold cells. In order to sustain his lie, the Grand Dragon discarded my written description of what I was sending, he further ripped the top off the document in order to hide what had been written, and then as a final move threw away the actual evidence and took instead a very bad black and white photo. And even after i presented all of that to the D.R. board they still found me guilty, in triple fashion of a kangaroo court.)

They have destroyed all of my legal cases by mixing all of my documents together. It would take a team of forensic scientists or a team of archaeologists to get them back in order again, I'm not even going to try. I am just going to allow the cases to expire and file a lawsuit. In closing my motto is: that which does not kill me only tends to make me stronger.

Please write to:

Governor Jode Rell
State Capitol Building
Hartford, CT 06106

Commissioner of Corrections
24 Wolcott Hill Rd
Wethersfield, CT 06109

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[Abuse] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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Rotten Food in CA = Hunger Strike

Revolutionary Greetings to all those who struggle to remove the infestation of capitalism-imperialism from it existence on our mother Earth. From one humyn to all humyns, power to humynity...

Kern Valley State Prison has been forcing prisoners in ASUII (and who knows where else) to consume spoiled milk, rotten meat, rotten fruit, moldy bread and small rations. I've filed multiple 602 appeals (class action), but have only had them screed out by the Appeals Coordinator.

The staff say the conditions are due to [Governor] Arnold's budget crisis. But I ask, what is the price that you put on humyn life? Because after this is all said and done my family might need one.

I have begun on the day of 2/27/2010 (Saturday) not accepting any of the food that they claim to offer - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don't eat or drink anything!!! Because the food they are serving is bad.

I will continue this until we receive humyn justice and are fed like humyn beings.

MIM(Prisons) adds: As Under Lock & Key 13 goes to print we have not heard from this comrade since they began their hunger strike. We hope they are well, and hope to hear from them, or anyone else at Killer Kern soon with an update. As we expected, among the privileged citizens of the united $tates, it is the oppressed nations and the lumpen who increasingly feel the crunch of economic crisis in terms of real life necessities.

Hunger strikes are a tactical approach to protest that can get attention with only a few participants, but it relies on the party being protested actually being concerned about your life. They don't need to subjectively care about you, but they must feel some pressure to prevent you from dying for their own interest.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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The Mission

You ain't a soldier!
You's a poser!
What you soldiering for?
Fame and glory?
That story's getting old.
What's that man really talking bout?
Spouting consequences to stupid nonsense.
He's only kidding,
while you're doing his bidding.
So what's he really talking bout?
What's his politics about?
Fame and glory?
That same story!?
Homey please!
Tell you what?
Pick up those books,
and get a hook.
Ain't nobody talking about revolution,
except the Maoist Internationalist Movement,
and the United Soldiers from Within,
because the Movement move men,
to bigger better things.
The mission?
Prisyn liberation from within.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California]
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The Time Has Come

The time has come
to pick up that gun,
in your mind.
Leave the petty differences behind.
Utilize your mind
to find that ideological line,
or shit will never change
in here
or out there.
It's all the same.
Prisyners to confusion and mass distribution.
Pollution of the mind.
So take the time,
to take a look around.
Ask yourself,
who's the real clowns?
Us or them?
Pigs united
are hard to be divided,
but the masses united
will never be divided,
or defeated.
So come together as one.
Leave the stupid shit behind.
Find that ideological line.
If you're really a rider,
prove it.
Ride that ideological line.

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[Theory] [Organizing] [North Carolina]
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Understand Self, Understand the Big Picture

Dear Reader,

Open your eyes, close your ears sometimes, and focus on your surroundings. What I am trying to say is that we have been spending more time listening to what others around us are speaking about than opening our own eyes to the big picture. Crip is not a gang, it is a foundation that represents the understood individuals; "Controlled, Respectful & Intelligent People." I am a leader of the Rolling 60's Crip Foundation. I am standing on my own two feet cause no one else will stand for me but me. I am also a member of the Moorish Science Temple.

We are our own worst enemy but some of us don't realize it until it's too late. We spend a lot of time worrying about the next person when our main concern should be self. A lot of us don't know our own true self, but we think we do. We will never gain the understanding of self, unless we stop oppressing one another. As a leader I ask that we focus more on self than each other.

I know it's hard because of the way we've become adapted to the prison institution. Love, live and let go of the situations between one another and let's give the system a run for its money.

A very big question that raises eye brows is why do those that play that tuff role worry about going home early so much? The answer to that question is, in my opinion, that they are afraid to fight the system but will fight each other. That's because they know that fighting each other makes them look tuff. No. Not at all in my eyes. All that says to me is that we are more ignorant than the system makes us out to be. The system wants us to be at each others' throats. Why do ya'll think that when we stand up for each other they become heated? But when they suit up and call a team to intimidate us a lot of us fold out of fear of being hurt & locked up in segregation. Heck, we are already locked up, what else can they do to us?

Martin Luther King didn't have a weak dream, he had an uplifting dream for us to stand together and fight those who oppress us. Let us rise and fight for what we stand for as human beings.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The principle contradiction in the world today is that between the imperialist nations and the oppressed nations. This is an antagonistic contradiction, that must be resolved by the latter overtaking the power of the former. But before we get there, there are other contradictions that the oppressed face.

In prisons, the principal contradiction is among the people, as this comrade explains. The resolution of this contradiction requires those working for unity overcoming the mindsets of division. Sometimes those mindsets will be found in the oppressor, but currently they are very common among the oppressed. So there is a dialectical process occurring right now as people are starting to step back to see the big picture, to consider why they do what they do. Unity begins with the individual. Transforming oneself into a new revolutionary persyn is always happening simultaneously as we work with others to build unity and promote change on a larger scale.

Humyns are social beings that face large problems in how our society is structured. So focusing on yourself can't address these problems. But for those who are still part of the problem, there is a great need to take a step back and reflect on oneself and how you fit into the greater society. Soon you will realize that there are many roles you can play, and you do not have to remain stuck in the one that has been taught to you.

While we know that MLK's ideology cannot solve antagonistic contradictions within imperialism, his strategies may be very applicable to the needs of the prison movement at this stage in a country that claims to uphold freedom and civil rights.

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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Call for unity against CO violence

When I first came in to the CDC, a guard's job was simple: unlock us in the morning so we can function and lock us up at night. The rest was living simple and every once in a while someone would get stabbed or jumped, but the violence ratio was 10 times lower 25 years ago. But now times have changed. For example, a few weeks ago, a prisoner was being yelled at by 2 corrections officers. As the non-English-speaking prisoner was sitting on the bench, trying to understand what they were saying (they wanted to know his name), without any cause or reason, the 2 COs started spraying him with large canister sprayers of pepper spray, soaking his entire body, and then started beating him with little telescopic-like batons with a lead ball on the tip (very painful). Afterward, he was kicked while he was lying on the ground, and placed in handcuffs and escorted to a vertical coffin-like holding cage. I stood at my cell window and observed this, among many other incidents.

When I was in Salinas Valley, housing unit number 5 (also known as "the dirty nickel"), the COs would yell racial slurs, profanity, and anything disrespectful towards the prisoners over the intercom. When I was there I counted 115 acts of violence against prisoners by COs and on one occasion I observed a CO tell one prisoner to assault another prisoner or he would tear up his cell. The prisoner complied out of fear of reprisal.

I am writing this to educate you and hopefully many others of the mistreatment and abuse of the COs, currently named the "Green Wall" due to the fact that all of the correctional officers wear green uniforms. The main gist of the Green Wall is to keep total control over the prisoners by encouraging them to maintain violence and animosities with each other. The Green Wall will use any and all tactics to maintain that control. Sometimes a prisoner may try to stand up for what is right, but no one will join him or support his cause because the majority of prisoners are in constant fear of getting property (photos of family) torn, damaged or destroyed.

My hopes are for everyone to be on notice. Be vigilant, be aware, and let's stop being entertainment for the Green Wall. Let's start figuring out a way where all the prisoners can come together. The mainline GPs [General Population] are outnumbered by the SNYs 3 to 1 because the GPs are inventing new reasons to attack their fellow brethren and make them run to the SNY (Sensitive Needs Yards). All I'm asking is that all come together and repair and change what the Green Wall has caused. All it takes is that one voice to get it started!

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 13]
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Think About the World

Do you ever seem to think about the world and its ways,
or an incisive definition of the new world slave?
Where we now receive the privilege of making incentive wage,
for those 400 years, how will you ever be paid?
Yet I know it's a major achievement, to have a half black President,
Why don't you look into your heart, then tell me what it truly represents
A house nigger for change, don't that sound so familiar,
That approved a gun law, cause they been letting whites kill us!
Knowing we kill each other more, going to prison seems like our hobby,
white people can kill ten at a time, and just blame it on the economy!
Actually it's often more, when you know who administer kids
And the simple mathematics subtract, only 1/4 of our race!
Yet we're the ones who get criticized, labeled 3/4 of a man
3/4 of my all unbearable, for any oppressor to stand.
Why can't you seem to open your eyes, within your college or your gang,
Why you be putting platinum and diamonds, on the master invisible chains!
Wake up you ignorant nigger, take this fire to the brain,
Politics would never allow "Black Obama," to promise or change
3/4 of anything...

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