The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [Theory] [Texas]
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Turn negative pressure to postive, fight imperialism from behind the bars

MIM, my utmost respects and appreciation for your dedication and publication from Under Lock and Key, 2008 June issue. To all who submit and share time and thought with the masses, my love and respects.

We are all in this struggle together in one form or another, even when one does not know or acknowledge it. This is why I have taken the time today to share with you thoughts, from a prisoners point of view, seen through my eyes. We all have different experiences and pains but one thing we have in common is the struggle.

I would imagine that different situations for a prisoner would make him or her act out against pressure in many different ways. Some positive, some negative. We have positive pressure, meaning the type of pressure that family and friends and comrades give us: encouragement! Then there’s negative pressure, meaning the type we feel from an outside force who makes us or tries to make us submit, against our will: capitalism and imperialism!

See, these pressures one can direct, if only we can identify them. Some people don’t know how and so they turn their anger and confusion on the masses and the people they love. Becoming destructive and careless to the environment and world around them. Fighting fire with fire! But fire is put out with water!

Practicing how to control your emotions and attitude can strengthen your vision and your direction, which in turn will give you patience and a clear view of what is ahead. A lot of us react on the spot towards situations without giving them proper consideration/self-criticism. This will turn destructive!

I hear it all the time how people are proud of being Latino or Black, but then turn right around and cause harm and pain to the same people they say they are proud of being or trying to protect. I mean it the way I am saying it!

I mean, we down other people so much that we can’t even overcome the smallest things which are within us: confusion and anger! In order to establish the kingdom of freedom in the world, it must first be established in the hearts of men. This is the biggest problem we have today in the world, not establishing it within us first. Freedom from self-hate, crime, senseless violence, drugs, prison, poverty etc etc. Identifying the roots of the problem will always give us a more clear view to what and how to liberate the light that is trapped within that negative pressure, or knowing how to proceed with the positive pressure.

There is a theory that I have and I would like feedback on if possible. Negative pressure will always turn into a positive outcome if one knows how to be self-controlling and patient. Example: the people who are under repression know that repression will breed resistance. The type of resistance I am speaking about must be positive thinking. You can’t and must not lower your moral values to that of the oppressors’ because once you do lower your moral values to that of the oppressor, you have then become defeated without even knowing it.

Haven’t we all heard that the one that knows you best is you? If you allow yourself to succumb to defeat, you must learn from that once you have acknowledged it as a learning experience and practice a new method. Fighting fire with fire has shown us that we won’t win in a strong imperialist government. This is why I am inspired by MIM’s theory about fighting them with pen and paper. Through grievances and bringing awareness to the masses inside and outside prison. So let us put it out with water. Being determined comes from wanting to do something that is or may seem doable, and everything is doable once you have found yourself. Finding yourself comes from self-criticism! You must analyze everything and don’t stop trying to find out the facts. Facts about yourself because your worst enemy is you! You betray yourself and allow yourself to be captured (mentally) and conquered, only when you stop fighting the good fight. Through legal and other means.

Self-determination is what stimulates dedication because its through practice that one builds leadership and we are all leaders, its our destiny to lead rather than to be led. How else did Mao, Che, Lenin, etc achieve such success if it were not for their dedication.

They acknowledged what was wrong and chose to dedicate their life to mobilize the masses to go against that force. Apply their spirit and do as learned, the material that we need to have and it’s the facts that surround us every day. The enemy is exposing himself or better said themselves everyday.

One thing that I am trying to convey is that when we are in a stronghold (prison) and don’t have the proper reading material to help illuminate strategies and tactics, per se, we must not be afraid to go to its rawest form which is the reality that we see, perceive and observe everyday. Who else would know prison life better if it were not the prisoner? We live here and we should be encouraging one another to expose that negative pressure and build toward what can help us positively.

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[Control Units] [Oregon]
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Isolation Units in Oregon

Right now I'm in IMU (Intensive Management Unit). I'm in my cell for 23 1/2 hours a day, some days I don't even get yard. IMU is for people that are violent or have to be segregated cuz they can't be in general population.

Here in IMU there is A pod, C pod and D pod. Each pod holds 48 people. Mostly the whites are here in IMU for race riots and the like. DOC usually targets white power inmates. This IMU is here at Snake River. There is another at OSP and I've heard a rumor about one being at the new prison at Madres.

B pod here at Snake is the SHU program, which stands for Special Housing Unit, which is people doing forever in a cell 23 1/2 hours a day. I personally know 2 people in the SHU that are doing the rest of their lives in there. They are NEVER gonna see mainline again. NEVER see the stars.


There's not many blacks in here. Like I said, the whites make up most of the population here in IMU. There are a good number of Latinos though.

I don't agree with all this. And I'm not just saying that cuz I'm in here, I understand fully that I'm to be disciplined if I act up. However, doing this long stretch of solitary confinement is torture and affects one's mind mentally. There are people who knew me before all the lockdown time and after. More than one person on the street told me that I came out of prison worse than when I went in. Why? Because of all this segregation. I'm more high strung. More violent. I write more sadistic poetry. For some reason all this isolation messes with the brain.

Innocence is put in segregation, and that innocence comes out being a killer.

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[Religious Repression] [New York]
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Fighting repression of Muslims in NY

At the end of October, I will begin trial in a civil action lawsuit regarding the mistreatment of Muslim prisoners in the Lakeview Shock Correctional Facility in New York. This trial will be conducted before the honorable Charles J. Siragusa in the United States District Court in Rochester. I will be proceeding pro se in this case. This case is entitled Andre Smith vs Glenn Goord, 04 CV 6432 (CJS).

This case is based on the fact that the defendants placed a substantial burden on my right to exercise my religious beliefs at the Lakeview CF from December 30, 2003 to March 26, 2004, while promoting the Catholic religion at the expense of myself and other Muslim prisoners, by acknowledging the Catholic religion by passing out bibles to all inmates and allowing the Catholic chaplain to give religious advice to all prisoners, including myself and other Muslims. They accord special recognition to Christianity beyond anything necessary to accommodate the religious needs of the Catholic majority, and the defendants make it easier for Catholics to practice their religion than for adherents of another faith to practice their faith. The defendants did not provide an alternative way for myself and other Muslims to exercise our religious beliefs. This violates the religious land use and institutionalized persons act which congress enacted in 2000.

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[Control Units] [California]
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Pelican Bay a dead end

I've been in CU [Control Unit]. We're allowed to go to the yard, but we have to go to the concrete yard. The concrete yard is about two times the size of the cell we're living in. Nobody to talk to or work out with.

The most humiliating thing taking place here in the department of corrections Pelican Bay State Prison is this: the institution shows what are called institutional movies for the prisoners - the movies are purchased with funds from institutional welfare. But the kinds of movies we're allowed to watch are rated PG. It's like they are trying to put the prisoners in a child's state of mind. The whole prison is considered a control institution, but it is an insult to a grown man to have to watch children's movies. We're talked to like children, and when we speak up as men we're written up.

The institutional program is supposed to be racially balanced, but I'll demonstrate just how racist it is in here. A while back I filed a grievance about them taking my walkman. They told me that I couldn't possess a walkman and a typewriter. They denied my petition arguing that I could have both. But another prisoner who is white filed the same argument and they gave him his typewriter. Now they let everyone get typewriters, but only after a petition was filed by a white prisoner.

There isn't any program for a lifer in here. I can't even take care of myself. I have a job in which I make 13 cents an hour, and I get paid for just two hours a day.

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[Abuse] [Florida]
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COs refuse to do their jobs

The correctional staff here don't like to perform their jobs. When a prisoner has any type of call-out they will try to bribe the prisoner by offering them cigarettes or anything to do with tobacco products, drugs, etc. It's being done on a monthly and weekly basis. They will try anything to stop a prisoner from receiving what he is required to have. That's plain deceitful. They don't care because all of them do evil things and it's covered up and that's awful.

One morning on June 5, 2008, the officers refused to open the food flap to feed a prisoner. He told the prisoner, I don't care if you never eat - now go kill yourself. One time last year (May 2007) I had a sty on my eyelid so I was told to sign up for sick call. I did. When I went up there to be seen the medical nurse told me there's nothing we can do for you. So it was left untreated and I was charged $4. The whole thing was a waste of my time.

Another thing, I want to address, is when you file a grievance they will deny it even if your point is legit. And then they will try to retaliate by writing you a disciplinary report or putting a knife in the cell while you're on a call-out or at recreation, etc. This is some of the criminal injustice that needs to be exposed. I believe with your support we will see some light at the end of the tunnel.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Texas] [ULK Issue 4]
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Under Lock and Key

As far as my eyes can see,
Not just the flesh
But our minds are under lock and key.
For hundreds of years
Behind "Justice" as an illusion,
Blindfolded by "Liberty" 2 cause confusion.
Founded by forefathers who slaughtered our mothers,
Established by "men" who slayed our brothers,
Our true names covered and denied,
Lashes handed 2 those who tried.
Something needs 2 be done,
2 change history about those who won,
Determination, Dedication, Revolution
in my eyes,
From the roots 2 the crest
Still I rise,
As far as my eyes can see,
Not just the flesh
But our minds are "under lock and key."

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[Spanish] [Pennsylvania]
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Michigan represión contra Indíginias

Saludos hermanos y hermanas de MIM. Los saludo a todos por su trabajo revolucionario en educando y liberando las mentes encarcelada del mundo. Yo soy otro rehén encarcelado por beneficio en la prision maxima de Marquette Branch y estudiante del pensamiento comunista. Estoy presentandoles este papel que escribí para mi grupo en luz de mis estudios y reflejos sobre la historia en Americanos Nativos. Mis esperanzas son que les pueda ayudar a brillar una nueva luz sobre el comensamiento del la colonización americana y evocar discusión y más estudio como lo ha echó en mi circulo.

Yo atendo, al igual con otros hermanos, el servicio "del camino americano nativo" y recientemente cuando al fin llegamos junto a construir con significativo, y con el escarnio de la institución, afirmandonos que nuestro 1 y 14 derechos de enmendiamiento de la constitución esta bajo ataque. Y no es que tenemos fe en una constitución que todavía sancióna esclavitud, pero nuestra lucha diviera alamar ciertas comunidades, especificamente los americanos nativo, ya que es una larga y vieja guerra de supresión a nuestra tradición y costumbre nativa.

Nosotros ya tratamos de resolver este problema atravez de la administración y sus remedios de agravio y todo más pero estos son los mismo enemigos que controlan todos los processos de agrivio y reedios administrativo. Los mismo agentes fascista que interrumpen nuestro servicio con comentarios como "en america hablamos inglés." Mientras nuestros hermanos rezan en su lengua nativa. A nosotros regularmente no sueltan de nuestras celdas tarde y no podemos conducir nuestro servicio formal. También cuando tratamos de obtener nuestros articulos permitible para conducir nuestro servicio en su maneraadecuada, nos la confiscan.

Ellos hacen lo necessario para impedir la asistencia con intimidación. Si uno pide asistir el servicio, primero recibes una visita de una trabajador de pandillas, que te informará que el servicio es conducido por padilleros y que si tu participas te pondrán bajo investigación de amenasa de seguridad.

Nosotros hemos escrito a las naciones locales aqui en U.P para mas apoyo de afuera pero lamentablemente no hemos visto unidad entre los Americanos Nativos possiblemente por la intimidación de estas instituciones corruptas. Pero comoquiera nuestro circulo es fuerte y nos unimos cada semana para intercambiar cultural, intelectual, espiritual, y siembral semillas revolucionarias. También tenemos debates, discussiones, asignaciones y presnetaciones oral. Esperamos tener una relación con MIM(Prisons) y los tendramos al dia con nuestros assuntos ye materiales revolucionarios.

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[Censorship] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 4]
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XXL, Vibe and others should join lawsuit vs. VA DOC

I am writing in regards to the constant discrimination we face here at Red Onion State Prison. We are allowed to order magazines, but when they get here we usually receive a notice stating that the publication has been disapproved. This is very discouraging and has caused me to stop subscribing to XXL and I soon will cancel my subscription to Vibe. These two publications seem to be the most targeted. Out of 12 XXL magazines I only received 7 issues. Out of 14 Vibes I have only received 7 issues. I recently had a King disapproved, but that was the first time since I have been subscribed.

It seems that the same two magazines are targeted at an alarming pace and without any help from the outside they are getting away with it. All of them are disapproved for the same reason and that's for promoting gang activities. These people have no understanding of us or our culture and every Black person is automatically linked and labeled as a gang member of some sort.

I have written both magazines for assistance to no avail, I have received absolutely no response. These companies will accept our money, but won't offer any help. This is a slap in the face to incarcerated individuals. I have every copy of my disapproval notices and I am open to sending them to someone out there so you can see the pattern.

p.s. Once I started pressing the issue of them abusing their power by using the gang activity as a reason for disapproving magazines, they started adding other rules along with the gang rule on why they disapproved the magazines.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Yes, please do send us documentation of this censorship as we are working to get a lawsuit filed against the censorship at Red Onion, and all evidence you can provide will help us in this struggle. For that matter, any prisoners who have copies of rejection notices can send them to us and we will post them on our website at https://www.prisoncensorship.info as part of our Censorship in Amerikkka Documentation Project.

We have already contacted XXL regarding the censorship of their magazine at Red Onion to see if they are interested in working with us in a lawsuit. We encourage everyone to continue to write to XXL to encourage them to defend their right to communicate with prisoners in Virginia. As media that is deemed "Black," XXL, Vibe, Under Lock & Key and many others are being censored as "gang material." But while XXL and Vibe gets in 50% of the time, we are not aware of an issue of Under Lock & Key successfully reaching a prisoner in Red Onion since it became its own publication last year, even though prisoners have documents stating that their subscriptions to ULK are approved. We welcome all who are facing the racist blockade at Red Onion to contact us to join us in this struggle.

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[Abuse] [Florida] [ULK Issue 4]
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Brutality in Florida prison

On June 3 I was pulled out of the cell I'm assigned to. I was removed by correctional staff Sergeants Mason, Rivera and Covey. I was handcuffed with leg irons on, helpless. They placed me in the shower. Out of the camera view they beat me and kicked me until I fell out. They tried to kill me. This was a very dangerous incident that took place with me. A lot of outrageous and awful things take place in here and it needs to be exposed. After they attacked me they placed me back in the cell. It looked like a hurricane hit the cell. They took all my personal things.

The correctional staff instigate conflict amongst they prisoners. They will get the prisoners to fight one another. They correctional officers are very capricious, you don't know what move they will make next.

The correctional staff try to discourage all the prisoners from coming out of the cells for showers, shaves, haircuts, etc, things we're required to have. They tell us they will place a knife or drugs in the cells if we leave.

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[Elections] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 4]
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Barack Obama and oppressed nation labor aristocracy

Now that Barack Obama has secured the democratic nomination for President of the United States, it's important that we educate our oppressed nation youth that he is being controlled by the same forces that control George Bush, which is multinational corporations, political lobbying groups and international patriarchal capital.

It is apparent that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States, considering the country's excitement about him and the nation's unwillingness to separate John McCain from George Bush.

This is the biggest turning point in U.S. history, because Barack Obama has the potential of transforming the oppressed nation in this country into a labor aristocracy at the expense of the Third World. This will strengthen the U.S. imperialist system and weaken the revolution in a sense because as more and more Blacks and Latinos gain oppressor nation benefits, these oppressed nations will be less willing to fight for the international proletariat. This will ultimately transform immigrants into the number one revolutionary group in this country and the group most willing to fight for the international proletariat.

Even though Blacks and Latinos represent the majority of those imprisoned in jail and prison today, I truly believe that the criminal injustice system as well as the police will drastically increase their campaign to lock up more immigrants, and eventually immigrants will become the majority of those imprisoned in border states.

As a matter of fact, we're seeing this trend unfold as we speak. Immigrants are the fastest growing segment of the state and federal prison system. [Most statistics on imprisonment do not break out migrants from "Hispanics" in general, making this difficult to verify. There has been a significant surge in construction of federal detention facilities along the border following increasingly draconian immigration laws and policies in recent years. Meanwhile, the general prison population has continued to rise, but some state systems have begun to cut back. We welcome further input and research on this subject.] U.S. prisoners are currently the second largest revolutionary group in this country. We are a very important, and some including myself would argue this is the biggest turning point in U.S. history and world history, and we must put a proper perspective on this crucial time in history. It is apparent that we are headed towards 8 years of Barack Obama as U.S. President and I have a feeling that the next 8 years (2008-2016) will be the most important time in U.S. and world history, even more so than the 1960s.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We're not certain that Obama will be the next president but we think this prisoner offers some useful commentary about oppressed nations within U.$. borders joining the labor aristocracy. MIM has been saying for years that the oppressed nations are a part of the labor aristocracy, so we do not agree it would take Obama as president to cause this transformation. The reality of life in Amerika is that all citizens benefit from the economy of this imperialist country and this includes the internal oppressed nations. So the class interests of oppressed internal nations already lie with imperialism (see MIM Theory 1 and MIM Theory 10 for more detailed economic and political analysis of classes within U.$. borders).

We see internal oppressed nations as potentially revolutionary because of their national interests. But we agree with this prisoner's general point that the U.$. government could push forward the national conditions of internal oppressed nations to elevate their national interests to align them with imperialism. U.$. history has many examples of oppressed nations joining the oppressor nation, but those groups were whites from various other countries, like the Irish (see Settlers: the Mythology of the White Proletariat, by Sakai).

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