The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? help out
[Education] [California]
expand

Education system lacking but still fighting

I was studying Comrade George L. Jackson's "Blood in my Eyes" when I first came to know of your organization and movement. After inquiring I was given a little more information and agreed completely with everything that you expressed and stood for.

I'm currently serving a life sentence, though I strive each day to relieve myself of this oppressive prison system, having gone through this experience has been fundamental in the development of my revolutionary consciousness. When I was running the streets the same conditions that exist in prison where I'm at existed out there as well. It took the compounding of these conditions that prisons create to lead me to open my eyes. More than that, being housed and living with, and in many cases fighting along side with, BGF, Crips, Bloods, former Black Panthers, and others, gave me the strength and realization that there is still much work to be done.

George Jackson has become a role model of sorts for me. His strength, intelligence and desire for positive and meaningful change are aspects I see within myself. Through this process of self and environmental reflection I've come into my own ideas of how to affect change, and have begun working with a couple of other comrades towards this end. But one many can only do so much by himself, or even with a few determined comrades.

I read about the USW (United Struggle from Within) and I want to become a part of this. Because this prison is quick to suppress any efforts to organize prisoners around anything that isn't conformatory, I haven't heard of any others involved with the USW. But that's not to say there are not any. I will work from my end to affect the goals and objectives of the USW.

The conditions of my prison are as follows: the overcrowding here is out of control and has lead to the placing of prisoners on bunks in the middle of the day room floors and gym, two places that were never intended to house prisoners.

The conditions I find to be most objectionable however are those you can't see. Not having the access to exact numbers I can only describe the following situation from a first hand perspective. Though I'm a convicted murderer, at the moment I'm a level 3 prisoner, and many of my comrades here will be heading back to the streets within the next 5 years. The education system here is worthless. A man who is given the chance to work toward his GED isn't given any help in the way of actually understanding the information he's asked to memorize off the packet of work he's given. The man is asked to sit in a classroom for 6 hours where he receives no instruction, and the teacher, like most of the so-called students, is goofing off, doing everything except the work intended. These men are fed through a worthless system where their only requirement is that they show up.

From what I have read, education is the biggest factor in the reasons people come to prison in the first place, and return in the second. And yet, when money "needs" to be cut, it's education that is the first place they turn to. The system in my eyes hides this fact by compensating the lack of education with an abundance of yard time. My prison does offer a college correspondence course, one must first have his GED and with a majority of the prisoners being unable to read through an entire newspaper their ambitions remain as such, alone and to themselves. So with the illusion of GED and college classes, the fact that many of the prisoners will never participate or complete them is hidden from those too distracted walking laps around the prison yard. Thankfully I came in with a GED, and I am taking college classes. But the basis of this educational system is to be laughed at.

The conditions of today's prison system are not, in my eyes, as physical as they once were in the 50s, 60, 70s, and 80s. Though I'm only 25 years old, I tend to view the developing prison system as I do the development of the New African Nation here in America. Some think that because the physical restraints have come off and we have been given fists full of "rights" that we've come along in the way of freedom. I take nothing away from those who lived and died to achieve these rights, but the United States is a flexible entity that has existed as long as it has because it is able to mold itself with developing and commanding situations. I ask myself, did slavery end because they finally work up and realized their abuses, or did it become just too difficult to maintain any longer? I like to believe it's the former. The abuses of this country or of its prison system have only receded from the front lines where it's most easily attacked, to the rear, where those of less than open eyes cannot see its source.

chain
[Spanish] [Organizing] [California] [ULK Issue 3]
expand

Apoya las platicas de paz de la prision Pelican Bay

traducido por un prisionero de Washington
fue escrito en May 2006

En 1989, el departamento de correcciones (DOC) abrio la prisión estatal de Pelican Bay (PBSP). Su primordial indicada por la construcción fue para reducir violencia en la prisión por medio de segregar preguntos líderes de bandas y miembros. Pero contrario a su declarardo proposito, la violencia en la prisión ha aumentado rapidamente y dramaticamente. El sistema prisionero de California es más violento ahora que como era antes de la apertura de PBSP. Por ceirto, esta es la más peligrosa y mortal sistema de prisión en el país, como las estatistcas claramente afirmarán.

En Febrero 2001, California presencío uno de sus más violentos disturbios raciales aquí en PBSP, donde aproximadamente 38 Nuevos Africanos (Negros) prisioneros fueron puñalados. Un mensaje fue entregado a mi el siguiente día de un grupo de hermanos quienes habían estado en vueltos en el disturbio, pidiendo mi asistencia en resolver este conflicto/guerra racial. He estado encerrado en la casa modulo de seguridad (SHU) aquí en PBSP (reclusión solitaria), asi que me encuentro en una posición de hablar con ciertos prisioneros influyentes Mexicanos y blancos.

Esa noche, escribí al director Ayers, explicandole a él que me gustaría iniciar platicas de paz designada a resolver este conflicto. La siguiente mañana, fuí escoltado a la oficina del director. El estaba interesado en mi propuesta. Mientras estaba ahí, el preguntó que podría él hacer para facilitar este proceso de paz. Le dije a él que yo necesitaba hablar con un número de prisioneros, y él le dije a su personal que proveeieran mis esfuerzos. Fuí capaz de traer todos los grupos relevantes a la mesa, un plan de paz fue adoptado y un alto a la violencia fue impementado.

Nosotros sabíamos que allí había un número de guardias asociados en PBSP, como también banda institucional de investigación (IGI) modulo de administración en Sacramento, junto con la asociación de paz de oficiales de corrección (CCPOA, unión de guardias de prision) quienes no querian que esta tregua tomará lugar o tomará posesión. Verdad hasta la forma, ellos sabotearon nuestras platicas de paz con mentiras y propaganda negativa. Porque nosotros fallamos en movilizar afuera, bases de soporte, nosostros no pudimos poner en tela de juicio las mentiras y distorsiones que se estaban diciendo.

El departamento de correcciones le dijo a los politicos y medios de comucación que ellos no nos necesitaban para resolver este conflicto. Ellos saben que eso es mentira, nosotros somos los unicos que podemos resolver esto. Cuando digo "nosotros," quiero decir esos prisioneros Nuevo Africanos, Mexicanos y blancos presentemente encerrados aquí en el SHU en PBSP en la facilidad-D, modulos 1, 2, 3 y 4. Bastantes de nosotros estamos entre 40-65 años de edad y hemos estado en confinamiento solitario desde 20 hasta 40 años. Yo personalmente he estado en aislación por 27 años. Nosotros somos los unicos quienes poseen el respeto y la influencia para terminar este conflicto.

Podríamos haber resolvido este conflicto racial hace cinco años pero el CDC no quiso que nosotros alcansarámos esa meta. Como un resultado directo, el conflicto se ha salido de control. Desde 2002, han habido al menos 500 disturbios de rusa adentro de las paredes, y aproximadamente los mismos incidentes individuales de puñaladas reacionado con este conflicto. Arriba de 200 disturbios raciales tuvieron lugar solo en 2005. Peor aun, desde 2001 el conflicto se ha desparramado dentro de la comunidad afuera de las paredes, especialmente en el sur de California y ahora la comunidada está envuelta en el conflicto. Claro el CDC no tomará responsibilidad por la ascendencia de este conflicto, pero los hechos continúan, fue el CDC quien saboteo nuestros esfuerzos para terminar esto, y ahora esto ha envuelto todo el estado de California.

Nosotros no podemos permitirnos la espera de que el CDC o el gobierno termine este conflicto, o permitirles que nos prevengan de terminar esto. La escalasión de este conflicto es un ejemplo más alla del CDC y su neglijencía criminal. Como una clase de convictos veteranos, estamos alcansando a la afuera por su asistencia en resolver este conflicto con tu ayuda, podemos poner un final a esta guerra.

Hemos desarrollado un plan que consistiría de un esfuerzo en conjunto. Lo que necesitamos de usted es que obligue el CDC que nos permita iniciar discusiones en una resolución de paz. Al presente no nos permiten juntarnos y dialogar una tregua. Preentemente estamos buscando voluntarios afuera que sirvan como facilitadores y cordinadores. Los facilitadores asistirán esos directamente envueltos en el proceso, porque el estar en aislación limita lo que podemos hacer. Esto es porque es muy importante para nosotros tener asistencia afuera. Los cordinadores son organizadores de base que serán responsable de movilizar el soporte de comunidad en apoyo de nuestra cumbre de paz. Si usted está interesado en ser un facilitador, puedes contactarme a la siguiente dirección:

Abdul Olugbala Shakur s/n J. Harvey
D-4-112/ C-48884 (SHU)
PO Box 7500
Crescent City, CA 95532
Pelican Bay State Prison

Tambien tenemos una petición que estamos presentemente distribuyendo de nuestra cumbre de paz.

MIM responde: Esta declaración de mision respalda lo que MIM por largo tiempo reportado - el Departamento de Correcciones de California está detras de violencia de prisioneros y conflicto entre naciones en la prisión. Ellos formaron esas divisiones y ellos sabotearon los esfuerzaos de los prisioneros de alcansar una resolución pacifica. El CDC y su interes en promover guerras entre bandas dentro de las barras es claro - teniendo los prisioneros divididos y peleando uno contra otro los previene de juntarse para pelear el sistema de injusticia. Y esos pleitos le da al CDC justificación para toda clase de represión y encerramientos. Por cierto, ellos justifican la existencia del modulo casa de seguridad (SHU) el cual clama de encerrar los "validos" miembros de banda.

Esta es la misma cosa pasando en las calles - el gobierno Estadounidense ha jugudo un papel poniendo pistolas y drogas en las calles para ayudar a prender la creación de organizaciones peleando una contra otra en comunidades oprimidas. Esas organizaciones necesitan boltearse hacía una autentica defensa personal en el interes de su nación, contra su verdadero enemigo quien perpetua el sistema de opresión nacional en Amerika: el gobierno imperialista Estadounidense. Las organizadores de Pelican Bay estan poniendo un buen ejemplo para la gente dentro de las rejas y afuera en las calles, y nosotros trabajaremos con ellos para llevar el esfuerzo al siguiente nivel, más alla de la justicia y hasta la unidad de esfuerzo de justicia.

chain
[Spanish] [Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
expand

Batalla legal parte de la pelea contra imperialismo

Usted ya saber que los cerdos han puesto MIM en su lista negra de censura otra vez. Aunque los veredictos de la corte dicen que la censura sea solamente contra el material en cuestión, y no en las creencias politicas del publicador. Sí, estos cerdos están felizes y orgullosos de su abilidad de poder bloquear las hechas MIM provea para nosotros. El chrono que dieron nomás dijo MIM, no MIM Notes o MIM Theory, nomás el grupo que odian. Aunque no es nada nuevo porque ellos siempre han odiado ser expuesto como fascistas, como sus mascaras de funda de almuada son cosa de seguridad de gobierno y es otra forma de defender hegemonía burgesia.

Yo estaba pensando que después que MIM gane la batalla legal en contra de Corcoran's attaque personal en sus ideas, las otras publicaciones que ellos odian ganarán libertad de ser bloquiadas, basada en el publicador.

Yo solamente quiero que ustedes camaradas sepan que nosotros todavia estamos peliando la tyrania y nosotros sabemos que ustedes también. La pelea continua. Yo siento que el imperialismo de los estados unidos esta en sus ultimas piernas y que todo el odio y enemigos que han hecho los están alcansando. 50 millones de Africanos Americanos, 40 millones de Latinos en Amerika, 20 millones de Asianos, el yanqui Ku Klux la van a tener bien duro, conquistando todo esto. Y 400 millones de Arabes, 1 billón de Chinos, 1 billón de Indios. Estos marranos que pensaron que ganaron un nuevo estado, cuando Geroge Bush uso el militar E.U. para pelear su pelea familiar con Saddam, están puestos para un grosero despierto y perecerán en su desgracia y enferemedad de chauvinismo.

Yo me acuerdo de todas las jactares de como iban a cruzada y quemar cruzes en Iraq y conquistar, pero ahora, 3 trillones de dolares despues todo lo que tienen es Uranio vaciado veneno, 4,000 muertos, yo no sé 30,000 heridos? Y un billete para tras a su nido.

Así como nos has enseñado. La revolución será realidad cuando el militar de ellos sea extendido de más en su campaña para colonizar y dictar. MIM, tu tienes que escribir un articulo sobre los hechos de las reservas de asiete mundial y tocar en el limite de tiempo cuando este derrumbe imperial vaya a pasar, para que la gente este preparada de tomar su destino, su propia responsabilidad en sus manos. Así que como el manifesto communista dice, donde el desarrollo libre de cada uno son las condiciones para el desarrollo libre de todos.

MIM(Prisiones) responde: Este es un buen comentario amarrando censoria a la situación mundia de sobre extensión imperial. En repuesta sobre la demanda para un articulo en las reservas de aseite mundial, nosotros necesitamos a nuestros camaradas, que están en las calles y detras de las barras, que tomen el trabajo de escribir los articulos que son necesarios. Nomás dando nos ideas no es lo suficiente asi como nunca tenemos suficiente gente para cubrir todos los eventos importantes mundial. Hasta en prisión, nuestros camaradas son inventivo para encontrar materiales investigativos necesitados.

chain
[Abuse] [Control Units] [California]
expand

Green Wall at California prison

The conditions in prison need to improve. This place, Pleasant Valley State Prison, has what is called the "Green Wall." It is a type of gang, a "code of silence" within the ranks of the staff (officers). When an inmate does something wrong that warrants negative attention from staff, inmates such as myself are what they call "dealt with" privately. Inmate's are at times taken out of the view of other inmates so they can receive private punishment, such as being beaten and deprived of their rights.

Inmates here are treated like dogs that wouldn't obey their masters, when inmates don't do exactly what the officers want, the alarms go off and that inmate is taken away to a private area for punishment - rules do not exist!

The "color of authority" and rules that staff were signed up to follow when they first got their job, does not exist most of the time, which makes this place very dangerous. Receiving medical attention sometimes can take weeks, such as seeing the dentist or optometrist. If you have bad vision, it is currently an 8 month waiting list for glasses, which is not good if you have bad vision. We are now charged $5 for all medical requests - however, we are not charged $5 for psych visits.

The waiting list to work is now taking up to two years, once you arrive at prison you are placed on a waiting list which consists of over 800 to 1000 others. Another thing is we in the "hole" (ad-seg) are suppose to get 10 hours of yard per week, we now only come outside once every two weeks for 2.5 hours. We are kept under lock and key almost the full duration of our stay. If you are in the hole for disciplinary reasons, you end up staying back here for one year to three years, depending on how serious the offense. Like myself, I'm currently waiting for transfer to a SHU. I was given an 18 month SHU term for "battery on staff". If an inmate just touches (not hits) any staff member, you are given three times the punishment as if you really harm them. If we stabbed or beat up an inmate, we are given less time than just bumping into any staff - it's totally outrageous.

The rehabilitation of this place has been void for over 20 years, since I came in 1988. I was arrested back in 1988 and have been to every hardcore level 4 that CDC has, and this place is the worst of all of them, because of the Green Wall they got here. We prisoners do not get fair treatment at all. This prison system doesn't work - there is absolutely zero rehabilitation whatsoever. No one in here truly wants to help us understand why we did our crimes to begin with - it's all about keeping us alive so CDC can collect money for each one of us - it's a factor, period.

Just two months ago I was beaten so severely that two of my ribs were fractured. I was put in a cell without a mattress, blanket, toilet paper, etc, for three days, and was not permitted to see a nurse/doctor for 11 days. I just laid there having trouble breathing/sleeping, etc. Finally they took me to committee in front of the warden, where I mentioned what they did to me, and about my ribs. The next day I got taken to the ER for X-rays - they confirmed my #8/#9 ribs were fractured. I'm an indigent inmate (lifer) who wants to file a lawsuit, but I don't have any money or a lawyer on my side to help me. So I just sit in this hole while they get away with breaking my ribs - it's not right.

I will close with this bit of advice, CDCR is not at all what the public thinks it is, nor is it any form of rehabilitation for inmates - once you're inside these walls you are their puppet, period. This is not any way to spend your life - it's a world within a world - and CDCR always gets their way.

chain
[National Oppression] [California]
expand

New Afrikan Prisoners: Anti-alcohol campaign

Setting the proper example through our actions

Alcohol facts: the biological effects of a given drug (alcohol) may vary from person to person with factors such as the person's weight, gender and age, which may influence the intensity of the drug (alcohol) effect. Whether the drug (alcohol) is taken on a full/empty stomach or in combination with other chemical substances. A person's racial background differences may affect how a drug (alcohol) is metabolized. An estimated 14 million Amerikans have serious alcohol problems and suffer from social, occupational, and health problems. A survey conducted by the substance abuse and mental health services administration found that some 11 million people aged 12 and older were dependent upon or abused alcohol. Another 2 million people abused alcohol and one or more chemical substances.

The purpose of this statement is not to perpetuate a personal attack on any individual, or their chosen lifestyle, as that would be a form of liberalism, which is not conducive to nation building and undermines the true principles of unity. However, the purpose of this statement is to engage the New Afrikan Black communities in a discourse of dialectics, by pointing out and addressing some fundamental distinctive contradictions that are prevalent in the oppressed communities, as it relates to alcohol abuse/additions. As the saying goes "the highest form of consciousness is magnified in the individuals day to day social practice."

The principles of foco theory is the catalyst for this initiative. For those who may be wondering as to what foco theory is, it is simply the nucleus for making all material subjects/things move. Just as Fidel Castro was the foco for the build up of the Cuban revolution. Foco theory can be effective only when it does not allow itself to be isolated from the people. Foco may well be the best tactic to mount the motor of the people's will for real freedom. But the foco will need a long period of preparation and intensive organizational work, that will not only generate an atmosphere for real freedom by focus, but will also guarantee our logistics of communication/planning for survival programs, etc, such as this initiative "the new Afrikan prisoners: anti-alcohol campaign"

As a people, we must commit ourselves to a higher standard of living, if we are to one day achieve our ultimate goal of total liberation. We can no longer afford to hide behind the well to do excuses of putting the blame solely on the U.$. government, regarding the social dilemmas that plague our communities, in particular, as it relates to matters that we can control and change on our own. Our day to day social practices is a manifestation of what we believe in, think about, and consume into our bodies. So we must be mindful of this truth 24-7. Instead of engaging in the nuisances of alcohol abuse, we must begin to utilize our time and energy more constructively by exercising our minds towards the central task of achieving some positive goals in the areas of community healing/building. Through our collective will and with the application of self-discipline, this can be easily accomplished. If we allow the truth to be our guide in pushing forward principles of righteousness, then we should also realize that the objective of community healing/building cannot be achieved if our mental facilities are being overwhelmed with the toxins of alcohol. Meaning that the social wounds of oppression that the social system of U.$. imperialism has inflicted upon our communities will remain a prominent fixture. Our power as a people is unlimited, once we take control of and refine the focus of our minds.

Now consider these factors:

Alcohol depressed that activity of the brain and impairs cognitive abilities, such as concentration, memory, speech, and physical abilities such as muscle coordination/balance. As blood levels of alcohol rise, more brain activity is impaired, until the person loses consciousness. If blood alcohol levels continue to rise, death can occur because the brain's respiratory center can no longer function. Furthermore, many drug experts offer the following:

• Alcohol abuse has the highest social cost of all drug addictions
• Alcohol is involved in at least 50% of all homicides, assaults, and highway fatalities
• Approximately two thirds of all cases of spousal abuse and violent child abuse involve alcohol use
• Drinking by pregnant women is the leading cause of birth defects and mental retardation

In light of the above mentioned scientifically proven factors, now ask yourself, what real benefits does an individual have in continuing on with the social practices of alcohol abuse? None, if you ask me! However, it cannot be overlooked that we have been conditioned to believe that alcohol consumption is harmless, on account of the large magnitude of alcohol advertisements that we are bombarded with in our communities and with the convenient access to alcohol at social gatherings, corner liquor stores, etc. Thus making it too easy for the common New Afrikan Black sista/brotha to abuse alcohol, in effort to escape the dilemma of a personal discrepancy, whether it be going through an untimely divorce with our once beloved better half, getting laid off from work, unable to pay bills on time, or just trying to cope with the unfortunate struggles of everyday life. As part of growing/healing as a community, the onus is on us to live responsible by making critical thinking a constant in all that we do. Because by thinking critically, we will be able to formulate/develop some formidable alternatives, that are conducive to resolving whatever personal social dilemmas that we may be experiencing, as opposed to just running to and hiding behind the quick fix solutions of this liquid monster.

This initiative is still in its early stages of development, so there is still a real need for outside coordinators/facilitators in order to bring this initiative to life and amongst the people. So if interested in getting on board, you may contact me at [email protected]

MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade that alcohol abuse, as well as the abuse of other drugs, gets in the way of the fight for national liberation. In fact the government had a hand in this as a tactic to diffuse the revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 70s when drugs became widely available on the streets, and then imprisonment for drug use grew dramatically. Alcohol is in some ways more insidious than illegal drugs because it is legal and so widely available, but as this comrade points out, it is physically destructive and addictive just like illegal drugs. We do differ from this comrade on the theory of focoism which suggests that a small cell can spark a revolution (or even accomplish a revolution) without the participation and support of the masses. Maoism is the more steady, methodical process of developing the most advanced theory and raising the mass consciousness through struggle and seizing power one calculated battle at a time.

chain
[Censorship] [Control Units] [California]
expand

High Desert ban's MIM, falsifies reports on prisoners

Hello there, it's been a long time since I wrote. I have been looking for your address for a long time now and just my luck someone happened to have it. Well please, let's catch up!

First of all, I don't know if you knew, but High Desert State Prison has put you on its black list. We can not receive your monthly newsletter anymore (which I always love to read). We both know why they banned you from this prison. High Desert is so corrupt, they fear that through you we prisoners could shine a light on them. Also, the town of Susanville, which is where almost all of the Correction Officers (COs) are from are majority white and is a tightly knit community. Almost everyone who works here knows one another or are family.

Now I am in the hole for a so-called attempted murder on a peace office (that's what High Desert State Prison is saying). I've been here in the hole for the last year now and have been retaliated against. I've been starved, made to sleep in the cold, made to live in unsanitary conditions, I was forced to live in inhuman conditions. All my mail was being thrown away (incoming and outgoing). I have complained and all this prison would do is an inquiry.

I also have complained about COs falsifying reports and doing a lot of guess work and false charging me. High Desert State Prison knows that this whole thing happened because one of their COs assaulted a prisoner who was in handcuffs and in the program office. When prisoners tried to ask what happened this same CO assaulted a prisoner again.

The CO only received a redness to his cheeks and he refused medical aid. This CO walked off the yard on his own and also before he walked off assaulted prisoners who were on the ground and handcuffed. I have complained about these assaults, but High Desert State Prison is trying to cover up for their COs and also filing false reports.

You could read the reports and see that COs are making things up as they go. All reports don't make sense or are all contradictory to each other. High Desert has filed my case to the DA and even the DA did not believe that an attempted murder had happened.

The DA did pick it up as a battery though. High Desert would not investigate their own. I have tried and tried to complain about it, but my complaints never got answered. Also High Desert staff are doing a lot of these attempted assault claims and beating up prisoners. 602s are not to be given back to prisoners until their time limits are overdue so prisoners can not continue their complaints.

Well, as I can not receive your newsletter, I hope that you will print this in your newsletter and shine a little light on this place.

I will keep up the struggle.

chain
[Medical Care] [California]
expand

Flush limits on toilets needs challenge

Salutations and respect to all the progressives working on behalf of the people there.

I'd like to find out of anyone has heard of and/or successfully challenged CDCR's new policy concerning controlled flushes on the toilets this institution (SVSP) is now in the process of installing them here and I've heard they've been placed in other institutions across the state as well.

It goes without saying with the California overpopulation and lockdown crisis as well as the inadequate and broken health care system, this new diabolical scheme by CDCR will surely cause a lot more prisoner suffering, if not properly challenged.

Any and all information on this subject matter will be greatly appreciated.

Faithfully strugglin'

chain
[Censorship] [Theory] [California]
expand

Response to ULK issue #1 on "captives" and censorship

Revolutionary greetings! First I want to say I just received your ULK number 1 and I read it front to back and I must commend you comrades on an outstanding job. I really enjoyed it and will continue to enjoy it until my next issue! It has been a while since I last received word from you comrades or received any of your literature so it was very well received.

Here at Tehachapi SHU we are not being given our MIM Theory or MIM Notes. I have 602ed (appealed) this issue on 4 different occasions because a common practice here at Tehachapi SHU is for 602s to get "lost" so what I have done is send my 602 straight to the appeals director in Sacramento, letting him know the issue of appeal and how this prison don't answer or even return appeals on serious issues. What the director will do is send my 602 back telling me to "exhaust all levels of appeal" before sending it to him, but it often times will come with a "log number' and this will force this prisons appeal coordinator to act on it. Once I get it back I will send you a copy.

You comrades did an excellent job in getting Under Lock and Key behind the walls but I do miss MIM Notes and Theories. I wanted to comment on the comrade's letter on wanting to be called "captive". The word captive conjures up the slave master holding his captives (slaves) so on the one hand, I think captive is a good portrayal of the people chained to this capitalist system. Yet on a higher conscious level I think when we recognize the inner workings of this system and what causes slavery in the first place is capitalism, so we need to get to the heart of the issues, capitalism caused slavery, racism, injustice, patriarchy, control units, prison abuse, police abuse, etc, etc. The list goes on but capitalism is at the heart of the issues, thus our imprisonment becomes political because of the system that imprisons us. So I feel the proper name for us locked up in these modern day plantations is "political prisoners." With that said, I will await the next ULK issue.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
chain
[Censorship] [California]
expand

Law library access blocked

I got your letter. No thanks are needed for pushing this paperwork. I'm only doing what I think is right for a very worthwhile cause [fighting censorship of MIM literature].

I haven't got into the library since the last time I was there which was about three weeks or more ago. The current librarian hasn't called me or two other people from this building and I don't think it’s a coincidence that these other two people have active lawsuits in the court right now. These other guys are the same ones who agreed to help me file and see this thing through. The library has been running consistently for the past three weeks, so there's no excuse or reason for the workers to not call us in, other than to halt our progress and our work. I'm giving her one more day before I file a grievance against her, if only to get the ball rolling again. As it stands right now, I will no longer be able to file suit in February as I planned.

I still haven't heard back from the Department of Justice, but it shouldn't be too much longer.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
chain
[Censorship] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 3]
expand

White Lit Passes VA Censors

Assalamu Alaykum,

As you will see form the attached Personal Property Request Form, I have now been granted permission by the prison admin to receive your newsletters for one year. Therefore, they shouldn't send it back to you, as they did on 12/19/07 due to "no approval."

I also received a copy of the notice your legal council sent to W.D. Jennings on 12/10/07. You and your council should know that Major K. Chris and the admin at ROSP have not limited those nefarious and racist acts to just your newsletter (per DOP 803.2 #13 [MIM(Prisons): This policy reads, " Material that depicts, describes, or promotes gang signs, language, clothing, jewelry, codes or paraphernalia, gang participation, or other gang-related activity or association"]), but also to magazines such as Vibe, XXL, King, Smooth and others. They have also gone so far as to use this all encompassing rule in disapproving personal pictures sent to inmates by family and friends.

What's odd is the fact that none of the prison staff has had any formal training in "gang-related activities" by or with any law-enforcement agencies, and they all reside in southwest Virginia where gang activity is non-existant?!

Most of their true reasons for the disapprovals is actually based on racial bias and ignorance. The racial bias comes as no surprise, as it is a daily practice to see/hear various C/O's spew racial epithets at inmates, with impunity. The ignorance comes from the fact that if they can't understand it, then it must be gang-related.

That is why W.D. Jennings will never give a detailed explanation for these blatant violations of our First Amendment rights, because he would have to expose himself and his agents lack of intellect and the laws of this land! The only language they would overstand is a civil action brought against them by an organization like yours or possibly just a threat of such an action.

Your newsletter provides inmates with the type of information the VA DOC would rather we didn't know. For us to be aware of our rights means they wouldn't be able to continue to violate those rights. They probably aren't even (or weren't) disapproving your newsletters at all VA DOC prisons until it became an issue addressed by your organization, as is the case with our magazines.

I'm now preparing to file a civil suit regarding our magazines, because even though they've disapproved a number of my Vibe and Smooth mags based on "gang-related tattoos and jewelry"(?), I just received a GQ (Jan. '08) with an article specifically on the "CRIPS" in LA. (with full page pics of gang members dressed in blue attire flashing gang signs), which should never have made it to my cell. But, because GQ is viewed as a "mainstream white publication" with a white man on the cover, I'm positive not one person opened it up to "review" its contents!

So, I hope and pray your org will do what it takes to end these racist and draconian practices of the VA DOC, as it is negatively affecting all of us incarcerated in these gulags. At any rate, I hope to be reading your newsletter soon, and I pray you can help bring some resolution to our plight.

MIM(Prisons): This report supports others coming from Virginia that any literature deemed to be “Black” is being censored at Red Onion State Prison. Comrades in Virginia state prisons should take note of the apparent need to get pre-approval for subscriptions. Comrades should go through the required steps to submit a Personal Property Request Form, so that the pigs cannot justify censorship for bureaucratic reasons.

However, it is clear that every piece of literature we send to Virginia is now being censored, including many of our letters, which are being treated as “publications” contrary to the departments own 803.2 procedure. The only mail that is being confirmed received is legal mail related to this censorship battle, which is being received up to 2 months late (a violation Sizemore v. Williford, 829 F.2d 608, 610 (7th Cir. 1999)).

We must agree with this comrade's assessment of the administration in Virginia. Our legal council has put in a commendable effort to get to the bottom of the problems we are facing in Virginia, but W.D. Jennings has yet to give us one meaningful response to our council’s requests that they follow the law.

We are currently actively searching lawyers who can help us bring a civil action against Jennings and the Virginia DOC. We are also requesting that others who are being censored get in touch with us and send us documentation of your own censorship, which we will document on our website and use as evidence in building our case.

chain