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Under Lock & Key

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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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[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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[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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[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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[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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[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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[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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[Control Units] [Gender] [Washington]
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WA Control Unit Inventory

MCC. There are multiple control units at the Monroe Correctional Complex. However, I have never been to any of them.

WSP. There is one at the Washington State Penitentiary that opened over 20 years ago. I have been in this unit and it houses approximately 100 prisoners. The racial make up is approximately 1/3 white, 1/3 Latino and 1/3 Black. The majority of the prisoners are placed in this unit for no reason except dislike by some administrator or guard. This unit has been expanded recenetly but I am not sure to what extent.

WCC. There has been one at the Washington Correction Center for over 20 years. I have been in this unit and it houses approximately 120 prisoners. The racial make up is approximately 1/2 white and 1/2 Black. The majority of the prisoners placed in these units are for no reason except dislike by some administrators or guards.

CBCC. There is one at the Clallam Bay Correction Center that has been open for about 20 years. I have been in this unit and it houses approximately 220 prisoners. The racial make up is approximately 1/3 white, 1/3 Latino and 1/3 Black. This unit is split into three units (D, E and F) and expands into the general population units as needed. For example, D, E and F units are full, then a portion of B-unit will be appropriated as part of the control unit. As the need diminishes, then B-unit goes back to general population.

It is my belief that the state plans to open more control units and that some are currently under construction.

Control units house mostly mentally ill prisoners that are tormented by the guards. Many gays are forced to live in the control units by the guards and are harassed by the guards. Lots of gang members are in the control units for associations but no rule violations. The control units are used for punishment for prisoners that guard do not like. It is very difficult to watch the guards torment others. It is very difficult to get out of the control unit once assigned there.

I have spent approximately 10-14 years in a control unit in the past 28 years of incarceration. I do not dare make an actual calculation for fear of the mental impact of the reality. I recently spent a year in isolation in a control unit for refusing to have sex with a female guard and complaining about being punished by her for it. It is all a matter of public record if you have interest in the matter.

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[Theory] [Virginia]
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Madness of the Mind

People assume it's their circumstances that causes them to act out towards themselves and those around them, but in all actuality it's their thoughts that controls the actions to their bodies and their tongues. When people start to experience this wicked sickening, they begin to play all types of mind games with themselves and everything starts to become illusions to them, which is dangerous to their souls, because they're not thinking about the consequences and punishments that follows the madness that circulates in the mind.

They could attempt to fight the evil off, but they still find themselves fighting the same exact battles, because they lack self-control of their mind functioning. People say, that they have to act a certain way to survive this cold world and that's the only way they can demand respect from those around them; but really stop! Ask yourself, who's lives are being destroyed by the madness of the mind.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade brings up some good points. As revolutionary scientists we study society and attempt to explain why different groups behave in certain ways so that we can better understand and transform the world around us. But the basis of the transformation that we want to make is in humyn society, and at the lowest level it is in the humyn mind. So we should not confuse our scientific explanations of behavior with excuses for how we act as individuals.

The comrade is correct to point out that we all have an opportunity to fight off the evil that is being imposed on our minds by a corrupt system. That is why it is so important to have literature and educational programs coming into prisons, especially programs that are teaching people how to play an effective role in making the world a better place. Those who study are the ones who remain strong under the torturous conditions of u$ prison control units. Many fall into the madness that is pushed onto them by the system.

As materialists, we do not believe in a soul, and we believe that ideas stem from a concrete material reality. But at the same time, the writer is correct to say that it is ideas in our heads that determine our actions as individual humyn beings. It is here, where the old adage, "mind over matter" is applicable. Don't be a slave to a system, be an active party in determining your own life.

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[Control Units] [Medical Care] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 4]
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Budget cutback on meal menus

Recently, as of May 2008, we Arizona prisoners have had another cutback to our food menu. DOC has now started "a heart healthy diet" and has managed to cut back, even further, our calories. This is on top of the cutback we have automatically in lockdown at this control unit. This clever budget cut has been hidden behind platitudinous drivel aimed at protecting our best interest as health issues. As vegetarians, we have been especially hit hard, losing up to half or more of what we had before. The usual procedures allowed us are a waste of time in protesting this recent farce of economy shaving being perpetuated against us prisoners under the pretend guise of our best interests.

A heartfelt thanks for letting the voice of us prisoners be heard and let known generally amongst the publik. From this AZ gulag, up the system, strength in solidarity!

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