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[Campaigns] [Legal] [Censorship] [New York] [ULK Issue 3]
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NY Anti-Censorship Battle Wages

In 2006, a NY prisoner filed a §1983 civil rights lawsuit in the NY Western District Federal Court challenging the constitutionality of Prison Rule 105.12 and its application. Mitchell v. Goord, et al., 06-CV-6197. Prison Rule 105.12 is the so-called “gang rule” of DOCS, which is used more as a tool to punish prisoners for possessing written materials than to prevent organizational activities within an institution. The plaintiff had been placed in SHU three times for possessing written materials related to New Afrikan organizations on the outside he openly affiiliates with and deals with. He consistently argued he has a First Amendment right to correspond and associate with, be a member of, write for and about, and possess the literature of any outside organization he so chooses, so long as he doesn't organize or attempt to organize a prison chapter of any such organization within a facility without approval.

Upon learning other NY prisoners were being punished for possessing written materials related to the New Afrikan organizations he's a member of, namely the New Afrikan Maoist Party and its affiliates, and upon learning NY prisons were withholding, rejecting or trashing letters and literature form NAMP and its affiliates to NY prisoners, the plaintiff moved to have his lawsuit certified into a class action to protect the rights of those other prisoners and help them seek redress. The district court judge appointed counsel to investigate whether class action certification is appropriate.

It has been reported that NY prisons, like Southport, Auburn, Clinton and Great Meadow are withholding, trashing and rejecting letters and literature from NAMP and its affiliates to stifle their growing influence and support among NY prisoners. So, NY Prisoners who may have stopped corresponding and receiving literature from NAMP and its affiliates because of being punished for doing so, or because of fear of being punished, or who suddenly stopped hearing from NAMP and its affiliates; it's asked that you complain about this directly to the attorneys appointed in the aforementioned case. Also send a copy to the Collective Legal Services and the district judge - all addresses are listed below. Make sure you state that you support the class action certification of Mitchell v. Goord, et al. And if you hope to recover a monetary reward for any punishment or mail tampering you need to file a grievance now.

Contact:
William G. Bauer, Esq. - Lead Attorney
Erin W. Smith, Esq. - Second
Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Two State Street
Rochester, NY 14614

Hon. Charles J. Siragusa - Presiding Judge
K.S. District Judge
100 State Street
Rochester, NY 14614

Collective Legal Services
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140

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[National Oppression] [Texas]
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Amerikkkan justice for Blacks means death

Why are we afraid to call it what it is in Texas concerning capital punishment: the death penalty. It's murder, plain and simple. Texas, the state with the highest execution rate in these United Snakes, since the death penalty was put back in effect in 1977. Texas, the republic so bent on killing prisoners that it remains one of two states refusing to place a moratorium on the death penalty from concerns over whether lethal injection is cruel and unnecessary pain on a prisoner before s/he dies. State governor Rick Perry's spokesperson says "executions will continue" unless the supreme court rules otherwise.

This "will continue" mentality of Perry's is the same mentality of the ruling class that has executed a disproportionately large number of Blacks and other oppressed nationalities. How does this matter? When you look at statistics of the Justice Department and see the higher rate of execution of Blacks vs. whites for the same offense, this leads you to draw a long line connecting slavery to the period of reconstruction to the present day, right here in good 'ole amerika.

The decision that the Supreme Court must make is how to administer a better method for execution. For public relation purposes. Their intent is to kill any who stand in the way of their hold on power. This is a tactic of social control as well as instilling fear and punishment in those who would disagree with amerikan politics. It should be said the entirety of the justice system is an arm of the state that functions to oppress the people. So the saving of comrade Kenneth Foster's life from execution on August 30th should be applauded just for this comrade's life being spared, but it does not change the mentality of our oppressors or change this justice system. Only revolution will do that.

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[Control Units] [Oregon]
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Survey of Oregon Control Units

There are four Control Units in Oregon Prisons. Two are at Snake River Prison and they hold about 200 prisoners. The other two are at Oregon State Penitentiary and they hold about 250 prisoners.

I have been in the one at the Penitentiary. They are in separate buildings away from the main part of the prison. There's about the same percentage of different races in them. We're put in these control units for fights, stabbings, staff assaults, staff/inmate relationships and protective custody.

All these units opened in the mid-1990s. They started with just a few cells then expanded with the continuing violence. There's talk of opening a new control unit in about 3 years at Two Rivers Prison in Umatilla, OR.

At the Intensive Management Unit in Oregon State Penitentiary we are locked down 24 hours a day on Tuesday and Thursday and 23 hours every other day of the week. The officers treat us like shit by stealing our mail, putting feces in certain people's food, and they rush in our cells to beat us up with shock shields and rubber bullet guns when we get tired of being harassed.

Back in January the officers suited up on one of my friends because he ran one of the biggest gangs in prison. It lasted about 10 minutes, then they pulled him out on a stretcher and he was pronounced dead at the hospital. That goes to show how fucked up these officers really are.

There's been other situations where the officers gave mentally ill prisoners in IMU razor blades so they could commit suicide and then run around wondering how they go the blade.

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[Prison Labor] [Washington] [ULK Issue 3]
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Economic Investigation of Washington State Penitentiary

How many prisoners at your facility?
According to information online, the capacity is 1825, but there are actually 2,240 prisoners being held here.

How many of them work?
An estimate will show that around 250-280 work as correctional industries employees. About 150 of these work on the sewing complex. The sewing complex is making most of the clothes we, the inmates, are provided with. They also produce materials for out of state contracts. The rest work on welding, license plates and perhaps other work. They make all types of stuff, from bunks to tables and everything they need to equip a cell.

Another form of employment that they have for inmates is what they call "Inmate duties." They pay from 35-55 dollars per month, depending on what type of job you get. Basically, this kind of job consists of cooking, cleaning, serving the food, washing the clothes and anything that is needed to run and keep a place like this clean. There are probably another 250-270 inmates working these types of jobs.

Who do they work for?
As far as I know, everything at this place is supposedly run by the state.

What work do they do?
As I mentioned earlier, sewing and welding are the main industrial jobs. The rest are not considered jobs, but "Inmate duties."

How much do they get paid?
The industrial complexes pay up to a dollar ten cents per hour. The rest of the jobs go from $35 to 55 per month.

Now, up to this point it might not seem like a big profit is being taken, but there is. Who is profiting from all this? The working class in this country, which is not exploited as they claim. Considering that those industrial complexes are run by the state, this is how I would explain who is profiting from all this. In this place there are around 280 inmates who are doing correction industries jobs. If we assume that all of these 280 inmates are working 40 hours per week, we would have 582,400 hours per year of work by this group. At $1.10 per hour, 582,400 hours of labor in the industrial complex would cost $640,640. If now, we decide to do this job with the same amount of people, but instead of paying them $1.10, we pay the Washington state minimum wage of $8.07, then the labor alone would cost $4,682,214. They are saving over four million dollars by using inmate labor, just in this place alone, comparing to state minimum wage salary. But most of the state industrial jobs are well-paid jobs in the outside world. So, if you compare these kinds of jobs, we have another loop that I cannot resolve myself, but will likely account for millions of more dollars in cost savings. I would assume anybody would get paid from 13 to 20 some dollars on the outside for welding work. This could mean a savings of over $10 million.

So far, we are talking of the cost of labor assuming that the state will use all of its products, which is a lie because they have sent products overseas. Now, all this profit will get shared down to every single person who works for the government, especially the department of corrections and the state police. How will this be shared? Better medical care than civilians, better salary than civilians, and better retirement plans. Better exemptions in tax collection. They benefit in so many ways, from which regular civilians are excluded. That is the main reason they support more incarceration rather than trying to educate the prison population in making better choices, if you want to call it "making a choice" when you have been culturally bombed to act stupid.

So when you stated in your article about prison labor that "corporate America do not benefit or do not benefit as much as people have suggested," I believe you are wrong, especially when you look at the benefits of corporate America not as monetary benefits, but rather ideological. Even though there are monetary benefits. Let me ask the following question: Who opposes socialism and the road to communism? Who is in charge of destroying any community based programs for society? Who is in charge of blocking any type of political analysis that tries to make society aware of the necessity to change? Who is in charge of the bad propaganda about Mao, Stalin or Lenin? It is the same corporate America and allies who created the first and second World Wars. To them, the government is just the legal way to repress rebellion. Government bodies are just structures that are defined by how we use them. When Lenin took power, the philosophical structure of the government remained in place, but the practice changed, that is why I believe that you are wrong on this point.

And why is it that when you try to tell people employed by the government about a conscious analysis of history they most likely will reject you? It may not be as big as exploiting the national resources of Third World countries in monetary measurements, but at home they have no opposition because of the juicy salaries they are able to give to their war machine, which is from the DOC all they way up to the presidency. Everybody gets enough to live a luxurious life, when the rest of the world gets screwed.

And the big help lately has been the "cheap labor," the inmates who willingly and ignorantly help the government oppress the rest. So I do not think it is correct to say that the government and corporate America do not benefit from it. Inmate labor is too important for this system that the prison population will only increase in this country and in any other capitalist country.

MIM(Prisons) responds: After a discussion with the author we uphold that we have less disagreement than they seem to think we do. MIM(Prisons) never stated that corporate amerika does not benefit from the institution of prison labor or prisons in general. And we agree with the author that the bourgeois state serves to benefit the imperialists as a whole. We have only suggested that it is not corporate profit motives behind decades of prison boom, but rather the national and bureaucratic interests of the oppressor nation that the author describes above. We can even agree that prison labor is too important to the system for it to go away. But that is because it would become cost prohibitive to run the prisons that are already becoming too expensive for public tastes. This is in contrast to the super-exploitation of the Third World (in terms of labor, not just natural resources) that the imperialist countries could not exist without.

Other than asking what are the interests behind the u$ prison industrial complex, we are also looking at the question of the existence of a proletariat within u$ borders in our research on prison labor. Competitiveness on the international market for low-tech items such as clothing indicate that Washington's correctional industries pay a wage that is approximately competitive with the Third World, ignoring state subsidies and other trade irregularities that prevent a truly free competition. One such subsidy is the fact that prisoners are provided room, board and limited necessities before they are paid the $1.10 per hour. For this reason these wage rates are not directly comparable to the Third World. Regardless, these figures seem to suggest that there is legitimate exploitation of labor power going on here, and not just the transfer of surplus value between various labor aristocrats as occurs in most of the First World economy. But being a part of this greater social reality, and considering that most will likely be free u$ citizens again someday, we still see a predominately petty bourgeois consciousness among u$ prisoners. More are amerikan dreaming to be the next Jay-Z or Big Pun instead of trying to organize prison labor to seize the means of production for the people.

The calculations done by the comrade above are an excellent example of exposing the economic realities within u$ borders, and we encourage others to follow this example to create reports in their own state or facility to print in Under Lock & Key. Of course, if prisons didn't use prison labor, they would probably import furniture from China, not hire amerikan welders. This cost comparison would be harder to come up with, though certainly the prisons themselves have done it and decided that prison labor is cheaper. However, work that must be done on site would be paid the minimum wage at least, and would account for additional millions of dollars added to the estimate above.

Finally, one of the most important points we can take from this report is that this is all state run, as is most common across the country. As we argued in our article that sparked this discussion, Amerikans: Oppressing for a Living, the cost savings are going to reduce the need for taxes for all u$ citizens, while providing the funds for wages and benefits for those who work for the state and especially the departments of corrections and the police, as stated above. If these industries are also pulling in profits from sales overseas, again this money is presumably going to offset/subsidize state expenditures. It is a form of state capitalism that lays the groundwork for fascism quite nicely integrating the corporation into the state and providing direct monetary benefits to the general population for expanded oppression.

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[Control Units] [Pennsylvania]
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Virginia's supermax at Red Onion State Prison

This letter is to inform you that I too was an inmate in Red Onion Supermax prison when it first opened. I too witnessed the horrors that occurred there in the name of the state of Virginia, and this barbaric device that this country has embraced throughout this land called Super-Max's.

There are a couple more facts I would like to pass on to your readers, I was blessed when I was able to read the copy [of Under Lock and Key] that I did, for it was passed on to me with knowledge I was there [in Red Onion]. I could not, in all my self-conscious, sit back knowing the information I do, to think "it's not my problem", "I'm not there no more" to abandon my brothers there. You must get it out of your head, it is not just Black, white, brown, yellow, that matters, because if you follow that line of thinking then you have already lost the battle. To divide is to conquer, and that is just the play they did to us. For I not only am a convict, I have lived through the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s in and out from these walls. I was there during the riots in the system to get the things to better our way of life in here, only to watch these "inmates" come in here and waste the blood that was shed during these uprisings.

In all my time I have never seen such barbaric living conditions within walls. Sure it was brand new, clean and good food, but the threat of someone shooting you for something as simple as turing around to go back to your cell because you forgot your lighter, to light a smoke. Anything at any time could get you shot. "Just being Black," "a white dude getting along with the brothers" (you were hated by these hillbillies), to come to someone's aid, better not even think about it.

Remember that the DOC of the state of Virginia put this prison so far west in the state it was nearly impossible for one from the Richmond, Virginia beach area to come that distance to visit. This area they put these two prisons in were at one time coal mining regions, well those fell through, and since the new economical booster for any depressed area are prisons, they put two of them there. These folks know nothing but coal mining and hunting. Now they put them in charge of these prisoners, give them guns, and tell them if they get out of line shoot them. And they took that to heart and opened up.

There were no jobs, library, law library, schooling, trades of any kind. They opened these prisons before they were ready for a safe operating condition.

I tell people here and they look at me like I am insane. Try to make these people believe that this is going on in this country, and they laugh at you. I start bringing out the paper work to prove my point.

Comrades understand there are forces in play that would like nothing more than to lock every one of us away, and they are doing it state by state. Pennsylvania has its own "Super Max" called Greene County. They abuse them down there too, but no guns as of yet.

The beast that ran the Virginia DOC, Ronald Angelone, was the same beast in Nevada's DOC, from what I have gathered he got run out of there. This was done with the blessing of then-governor George Allen. When we first started reporting these conditions to whom ever we could, no one believed us, not even some of our own family. The only one who listened was the United Nations Human Rights Watch Group. Even these folks got run off the property. This is the new vicious and barbaric way they want to do things in here and most other places. In PA the Greene County Super Max has a history of inmate abuses. Sgt. Grainer, yes the leader involved in the Abu Gharaib prison abuses in Iraq, was the lead abuser in the RHU units at Greene County's Super Max in the state of Pennsylvania.

But since he was not charged in state court, and resigned on his own, you only heard this reported one time in the very beginning of the news reports about the abuses over in Iraq, (hush hush hush) never to hear another word about it again. But I was there and I remember. This goes on in every prison system in this country.

Do not think it does not affect you because it does, every time you read a story and think it can't happen to me, I am in a safe place, remember the only qualification that got me sent to Red Onion was I had a life sentence. Nothing more nothing less. Now in PA's DOC they got a new plan, lifers will be allowed to work only in approved areas off the block (cell house). Every system is so full of small timers that the older lifer prisons are being overrun with short timers who do not care and do not see what is coming down the road right into their faces. There is no way to turn this around unless we protest in a nationwide effort. Could you imagine the impact on this system, and the world reports that every prison in the country is on some sort of protest strike.

As I have known for years this is the new beginning of something even worse. Think big brother isn't watching? That is because you are too busy crying me! me! me! We got brothers of all peoples being beat, killed, and abused each and every day, in every state of this country. Poor health care, mental care, and then they want to disrespect your people when they come to visit you, to even abuse them. They are arresting our people right in the visitors parking lot for violations, all to discourage the family units from staying together. When are you going to raise your voice and make a stand? This is just the beginning of horrors to come, and believe me they are coming!

Remember when they decided to take DNA from the sex offenders, for the protection of our children and females? Well then they said why not lifers, how about violent offenders, we might well as get all felons, now it comes to the point where if you have committed any crime they want DNA. Have you been watching of paying attention to the news, they can get your peoples DNA to get you. There is no end to their madness, the new thing is putting electronic taggs in the children, next is the sex offenders, then lifers and every convicted felon, and parolees too Must I go on? The lesson is to open your eyes, as long as they have you divided into sub-peoples, whites, Blacks, reds, and browns, and fighting and killing each other. Then they have nothing to worry about for all your hatred is directed at each other instead of at them where it should be, they would be in fear if that was the case.

There are no truer words, it have been practiced by the peoples of every country, race, in war and out of war, throughout time: divide and conquer. It's us against them, you must take a stand, make a choice, make up your own mind. Stop the madness of going against each other. It's time to wake up brothers! We don't want to be divided, we want to be united! It's the only way, or the blood and lives given by those who came before, were given in vain.

If you have any questions, new information about Red Onion, or want to put someone in touch with me such as an attorney who is defending something there, please feel free to contact me here. I know it is very difficult for attorneys to get in there to see their clients.

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[Elections] [Texas]
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Barack Obama the movement: a race issue

When I read the words of Huey P. Newton it motivates me. When I read the words of George Jackson it motivates me. When I read the works of Lenin and Mao Zedong it also motivates me. Most definitely when I read the words of Asstat Shakur and know to this day she still stands strong in the face of imperialism it motivates me. It also tells me I am not wrong in my analysis of Amerika and what I see on a daily basis. These previous freedom fighters for the people went thru the same things we did plus much more. So it shouldn't be too hard to differentiate between those who move for the people from those who move for imperialism.

No matter how you slice it or how much he moves you, Barack Obama is not for the people, he's another in a long line of bourgeois blacks trying to gain fame in this oppressive system by showing Amerikkka non-whites can lead imperialism too. Let's look at this in concrete terms. Reality. What has Obama said or for that matter done to show he will change or overthrow this system and uplift the masses? You don't overthrow imperialism simply by defeating another imperialist rival in an election. Although the ruling class would have you believe this as they continue in their attempt to assassinate the character of Obama thru his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

But has Obama or any other candidate discussed the growing prison population in Amerika which leads the entire world and what we are going to do to stop its expansion? He talks about education but is he going to legislate law to change the curriculum that indoctrinates students on what to think and believe into how to think and create. Obama doesn't plan on nationalizing health care as it should be but instead offers a package similar to the other candidates but with a few more benefits.

Barack Obama states his intentions are to withdraw the troops from Iraq as soon as possible upon entering office. Now what about withdrawing the troops in Afghanistan, Asia, Europe and from around parts of Africa. Oh, I forgot, stop funding Zionism in Israel. Try to see what you can do about halting Amerikan military aggression against weaker nations. will Obama do any of these things? Hell, no! See Obama tries to play this game of what we call playing both ends to the middle. By knowing what the oppressed nationalities and Amerika as a whole needs he offers the best reform package while at the same time catering to Amerikan interest in global domination. That's bourgeois politics.

That's exactly why we who call ourselves progressives, revolutionaries, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist or socialist stick to political line. And smash all reactionary politics and thought. If we really support the uplifting of the people. As we move forward in this contest of personalities to decide the democratic representative of the party and ultimately the presidency it has become ever so clear that race and popularity is still used as a huge role in who we decide are our leaders. But don't be moved from hearing the words change, be moved by politics in demand. The attack on Obama's well mannered personality to make the masses believe that he may be too compromising with foreign leaders or not be bloodthirsty enough to declare war on some small country. Neither candidate democrat or republican could handle a phone call at 3 in the morning if they didn't have Amerika's military might to back up their war monger mentality. Knowing some Blacks will support Obama by blind nationalism the media still uses the divide and conquer strategy.

This is the time we show our distinction and development in building public awareness to reveal this nation's structured racism. While at the same time putting forth the political line of the imbalance in the voting system showing the people how their vote really doesn't count. This process as it stands now is a method to determine the mind state of affairs through out the nation. As if putting a Black man in the race for the White House means freedom will ring. Freedom will only ring when we overthrow capitalism and its many tentacles of oppression. I would go so far as to state that if Malcolm X would have become president of these united snakes, it still would not make a difference. And I would call Malcolm a sell out.

Barack Obama is right when he says it is fear mongering that the media is spreading from his associations with Rev. Wright. But Obama it is also your fear to not publicly denounce imperialism. When, after denouncing Farrakhan and statements made by Rev. Wright, the media and talk show mouth pieces play reverse psychology by placing you in the same group that publicly lynches Black leaders. This is done to break up and destroy your base of support among Blacks and the youth. It's spun in the media that those who supported your speech in Philadelphia on March 18 also support Rev. Wright, so says right wing parrots as Laura Ingram. What these critics fail to mention is the disenchantment that the masses have with Amerika's politics, the reason for Obama's popularity. Not to mention that Bill and Hillary do have a lot of enemies and they're not all on the "right." But the good ole boy mentality in Bill "Clyde" Clinton and his "bonnie" Hillary refuse to lay it down, even going so far as using the race card in S. Carolina then turn around and brown nose to the Black bourgeoisie by attending the premier Black church in Atlanta.

For a moment the right was at a cross road between their dislike of Hillary and the realization that a Black man may actually become a democratic presidential candidate. So they killed two birds with many votes by Republican voters actually crossing the line and voting for Hillary to win over Barack in Ohio and Texas. To ensure McCain doesn't go up against the Obama movement too soon or not at all so he can have an easy road to the white house and continued war on Iraq.

Sources:
Amarillo Globe News, March 9 and 10, 2008
Newsweek, March 10 and 17, 2008

MIM(Prisons) responds: For the MIM(Prisons) analysis of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, check out our article:
Election roundup - Democratic party expands the game beyond white men, but remains imperialist in the end

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [Nevada]
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Ely State Prison: Are Officials the cause for Prison crimes?

Nevada recently passed new "No Smoking" laws, and Ely State Prion (ESP) is using these laws to say that prisoners can't smoke in their cells. Because of this, they now ignore the classification procedure that does not allow smokers and non-smokers to be placed in the same cell. Before the rule that has abolished smoking in the cells was implemented ESP released a memo listing outrageous sanctions that will be imposed on prisoners who refused to accept obvious enemies as cellmates. Due to fear of the sanctions, prisoner refusing cellmates has ceased in large measure.

I've been placed in the hole for staging a protest because they put me in the cell with a smoker. I went to my 1-hour yard and refused to return to my cell until they moved me I was charged with G1: Disobedience of an order of any correctional employee or anyone who has authority to supervise inmates in work or other special assignments; G14: Failure to follow posted rules and regulations; and a MJ28: Organizing, encouraging or participating in a work stoppage or other demonstration or practice. I was sanctioned with five days DD., which means five days in a bare cell It is a psychological attack; an assault on the mind to drive prisoners crazy.

A lot of conflicts between cellmates, many of which result in new criminal cases, are a direct result of negligent classification practices. They are putting Bloods and Crips and other rival gang members in the cell with one another, smoker with non-smokers, etc.

Although they have always put smokers in cells with nonsmokers, now they believe it is legitimate to do so. This new practice once again shifts a heavy burden on prisoners, particularly non-smokers. We all know that a smoker will smoke, and he has a right to do so. Yet, if a non-smoker complains that his cellmate is smoking, then he's snitching! This is exactly what the Senior C/O told me to get me to call off my protest. Since ESP's interpretation of the new laws means that it is illegal to smoke in the cell, then non-smokers are snitching if they complain. The law bans smoking in certain public places and areas, and ESP extends it to inmate cells. I beg to differ. A prisoner's cell is not a public place because he lives there. It is his residence, his home. As such, prisoners have a right to smoke in their cells. Prisoner smokers should maintain this view and protest. ESP is trying to make prisoner smokers sit in their cells for 23-hours a day without smoking. And as EPS prisoners know all too well: there are more 24 hours days than 23 because we don't always get our 1-hour yard.

In order to stop any Uprising and Protest ESP will employ the same tactics they did to get prisoner to stop refusing unwanted cellmates - suppression. Every time a non-smoker complains, the smoker will receive a Notice of Charges (NOC). since no one wants to be labeled a snitch, non-smoking prisoners will stop complaining But, as with so many other conflicting classifications being forced to live with one another, it will manifest as fights and stabbings between cellmates, which will send a new wave of criminal cases to White Pine County Courthouse and fill its calendar.

Why is ESP so content with forcing mixed classifications to live with one another at the very risk of our lives? Instead of being responsible mediators they implement rules and policies that make them systematic instigators of the blood that is shed by ESP prisoners.

Prisoners being beaten and stabbed and catching new cases are the unspoken affects overcrowding is having on us. Because of the overcrowding population, classification is creating rules and policies that relieve them of responsibility so they can put any prisoner anywhere; otherwise, ESP would be gridlocked. However, ESP's whole administration is rigid. There are numerous ways through which they can rectify overcrowding. ESP has 8 units. Units 1-4 are lock-down units, and 5-7 are general population units, but with the exception of few "privileges", units 5-7 are just like the lock-down units. Unit is the only open unit and it is the workers Unit. Simply put, if you are not in Unit 8 you are locked down 23 hours a day.

Caseworkers often tell us that the only way to get transferred is by first going to Unit 8 first. However, since the eligible prisoners from Units 5-7 are trying to get to one Unit, somebody must be left behind. There are too many prisoners trying to get to one Unit. So, discrimination and favoritism ensues. If a prisoner catches a new case while here ESP that puts a five year hold on him, meaning he can not transfer for at least five years, assuming he has five years left on his prison term. If a prisoner has recently arrived and has a life sentence, or more than one life sentence, he must do at least 1-2 years on each life. If you are a Mexican, you are not allowed to go to Unit 8 at all, but must remain locked-up until they decide to transfer you. Some prisoners, like escapees, they say, may never transfer. My list goes on.

The point is that ESP has all these policies, including the acceptance of non-violent, petty theft prisoners into this Maximum Security Prison, to make it seem like they are tough on us. Instead of rearranging how they determine who to accept, what cases to put before the courts, how long prisoners must stay before they are eligible for transfer, etc. They just make up new policies and guidelines and force prisoners to stay with each other, regardless if they are rival enemies, smoker and nonsmokers, etc. Should they abandoned some of the foregoing policies so that the ebb and flow of prisoners through ESP can run more smoothly, it would appear that they are growing soft. So, they neglect classification procedures, throw us in the cell with anybody, and let us kill each other. Then, it appears that we are just being criminals, which the public expects, and they continue to look like the good guys who are tough on crime. Yet, many of the crimes committed at ESP are not due to prisoners willingly engaging in criminal acts, but because of the negligence of a poor administration.

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[Political Repression] [Censorship] [New York] [ULK Issue 3]
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Threatened for Filing Grievances

I didn't appeal the [censorship] due to the fact that I am short and this jail is known for playing set up games. I do ask if this can wait until I get out? I only have 6 or 7 months to go. They are on some other shit up here. I wrote a grievance at Upstate for opened legal mail while not in my presence. I went all the way to Albany with it. They told Albany that the legal mail didn't have a written return address on it, so they opened it to see if it was in fact legal mail.

And it's not only that but one day the doctors had to come in my cell to get me out because of my back. I went to the hospital that day. When I came back to the jail they put me in the infirmary. While I was in the infirmary 4 COs came in to my cell and asked me if I wrote a grievance dealing with legal mail. I said yes. They then asked me do I want to go home. I didn't say anything. He then pulled out a jailhouse knife and a search report and said, "I found this in your pocket, do you know that you can get up to 3 years added to your sentence for some thing like this." I told him that he knows that shit was not in my pocket. He then said, "I know, but that's what my report is going to say, if you keep playing jailhouse lawyer."

Monday I went back to my cell and when I got there the grievance was not in my cell, other things were gone to. I don't have the grievances, but I do have the number. They called it "Receive legal mail late" to cover for the fact that my legal mail was opened outside my presence. Since then I have been locked up I have been jumped by the pigs two times. The 1st time I filed a grievance and IG came to see me and nothing was done. The CO then tried to get me fucked up by putting other people's shit in my cell. I wrote a grievance and I got moved. The 2nd time I was put on the wall and my legs were kicked out from underneath me and I fell and they jumped on me. I fought back and got 1 year in the box, now I am here.

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[Theory] [California]
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Learning from MIM Theory on Psychology

I have been studying MT9 a lot lately, I don't think MIM could be more on point about psychology in american society. I have been in the system since I was 3 years old and have been receiving both medication and therapy since I was 6 years old. As a kid I was always getting in trouble, so when I was 6 my mother placed me in therapy and then some doctor said I need medications and gave my mother a shopping list of things wrong with me. From my experience, treatment for "mental illness" is based on the theory that mental illness originates within yourself and is caused by yourself, so in theory fix yourself and you'll be fine. For example, you have a 16 year old girl who has suffered both physical and mental abuse her whole life, now every psychologist out there will tell her it is not her fault, they'll try to explain to her why these individuals have treated her so wrong, in short they want her to accept what has happened to her as a fact of life, accept that we can't change others, and don't let your past experiences control you...move on.

MIM said in MT9, pg. 34, the answer on a social scale to peoples inability to survive mentally in an oppressive society is not teaching people to cope better (through drugs, TV, therapy, etc.) but changing the society to meet the peoples needs, which requires revolution. MIM seeks the abolition of the psychological, or individual, approach to various problems - replacing it with social prevention through social revolution.

As you said in the letter, instead of an "individualist" way of thinking when it comes to psychology and mental illness, we need to look at the whole picture. Yes, through the current form of psychology you "may" be able to "help" a teenager with his/her anger or "help" an adult with depression or you may even "help" yourself, but you have not changed the environment or conditions that caused the initial anger and depression. Therefore you have a never ending cycle.

I read "Testimonial of a woman revolutionary" (MT9, p41). When I read her story I saw how important revolutionary practice is and how far MIM will go to assist comrades in the struggle. Can you explain how to write a self-criticism? I try to read her story every once in a while to remind myself how important revolutionary practice is.

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[Puerto Rico] [New Jersey]
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The 71st Anniversary of the Ponce Massacre!

The 21st of March of 2008 will mark the 71st anniversary of the Ponce Massacre, a peaceful march in the town of Ponce, Puerto Pico to seek self-determination and independence. What should have been a peaceful demonstration, turned out to be an annihilation by the National Guard under u.s. military command. For many Puerto Ricans living in the united snakes, this event they may have never heard of or known that it ever happened. Hopefully this essay will enlighten those Puerto Ricans who have been deceived by the amerikkkan dream and the so-called amerikkkan help, and understand the u.s. aggression against the will of the Puerto Rican people to be self-determined.

Days before leading to the Ponce Massacre, a letter was written by the Ponces branch leaders of the Nationalist Junta, to inform the township government that they will come together and have a parade on the 21st of March of the year 1937. Ponces Mayro Jose Tormos Diego granted such permission for this demonstration. Although permission was not needed since Colonial Supreme Court ruled back in 1926 that consent were not needed to occupy parks or public place for meetings or parades. Still the Nationalist Junta wrote the letter as a sign of courteousness

On the 19th of March of 1937, Colonel Orbeta, which was the Insular Chief of Police went to Ponce to examine the conditions. Shortly after, Colonel Orbeta went to San Juan to meet with the united snakes appointed governor of Puerto Rico, Blanton Winship. It is said, that during that meeting between these two individual the massacre was arranged. Colonel Orbeta was sent by Winship to go back to Ponce to persuade the mayor to prevent the parade.

The day before the parade, Ponces Chief of Police, Captain Felipe Blanco wrote a letter to the Nationalist Juntas leaders of Ponce, Luis Castro Quesada and Plinio Graciany, stating to them that he has recognized the letter that they have written, giving the township of Ponce, a notification of a parade by the Cadets of the Republic and the Nationalist Committee, which will take place on the 21st of March of the year 1937. Capt. Felipe Blanco also stated to them in that letter, that he was informed by his higher ranks, that such parade will not be allowed. After the advisory by Capt. Blanco, Capt. Blanco met up with Colonel Orbeta to discuss things. They both agreed to meet up with Ponces Mayor, Jose Tormos Diego, to persuade him to cancel the parade. Mayor Jose Tormos Diego made it clear to them that he gave permission for the parade to take place. Colonel Orbeta kept pushing the issue to the Mayor, by planting in the mayors mind of a serious danger that the parade will bring. Orbeta persisted with the so-called danger, that the Nationalist posed, by adding, that he had knowledge that The Nationalists intended to come armed to the parade and that there were also other groups planning to attend the parade , coming from Mayaguez. It was observed that the other group of people who were from Mayaguez, were a group of 50 people, who consisted of women, men and children, who like the Nationalist Junta were not armed, and posed no danger.


Somehow Colonel Orbeta managed to get the mayor to give in. The mayor then directly called the Nationalist leaders to tell them that the Paulist Fathers had asked him, not to allow the parade because it was a religious holiday, "Palm Sunday". The Nationalists, knowing that the mayor was being dishonest, told him that the people who are going to attend the parade were already in Ponce, and that the parade would take place in a methodical tone, and that they will also inform the Paulist Fathers of their cause. But of course to the mayor, this was not the response he wanted to hear from the Nationalist, so he ended the meeting and told them that the permit was vacated.

The day of the parade there were conferences that were being held; one conference amongst the pigs; and the other amongst the Nationalists. It was evident that the scene at the parade was belligerent. As the Nationalists lined up to march, it was easy to identify the Nationalists since they were in uniform. Lined up in lines of 3, in the back of the Nationalist were a group of women called the Nurses Corps, uniformed in white, behind the Nurses Corps came the band of 4 musicians, which at the time were playing the National Anthem "La Borinqueña", while the participants in the parade stood at attention.

Eye witnesses and photographers stated that you could clearly see, that the parade participants were surrounded by u.s. trained forces. They also state that-the u.s. trained forces were heavily armed with rifles, tear gas, etc. Shots were fired, causing the men and women scattered for cover, and even though witnesses and photographers could not pin point which u.s. trained personnel fired first, it was clear that the aggressors were the u.s. trained forces. As the barrage of bullets went flying for a period of 10 minutes into the crowd, 20 were killed at the scene and 150 injured. It is also said that others died in a nearby hospital, while others were almost dismembered by this brutal attack.

Shortly after the Ponce Massacre, the ACLU conducted an investigation, along with witness and photographers. ACLU, with photos taken on that day clearly sees the brutal shooting against the unarmed people. What the ACLU did not understand was, with so much published pictures in the open, why wasn't any of them used by the government for their investigation. But to no surprise the Puerto Rican people were going to be deprived of justice. A couple of congressmen wanted a thorough investigation, but nothing was honored by congress. Instead there was a plan to persecute and indict some of the Nationalist leaders for murder and for instigating murder, but behind were a group of respected Puerto Ricans, from the District Attorney who vacated their positions, rather than to give in to Blanton Winships requests to indict on murder charges, the innocent survivors of the Ponce Massacre. Reports say that the ACLU blamed Blanton Winship. Washington with no quilt or pitty backed Blanton Winship, keeping him in command for 2 more years after the Ponce Massacre.


I honor the Nationalist Party and those people who died on that day of March 21,1937. Their stance was heroic, relentless, their wills could not be shaken by the fear of terror that was presented to them at that present moment. Here I will mention a few that should always be remembered for their bravery. Bolivar Marquez, a young Puerto Rican mortally wounded in the event of March 21, 1937 dragged himself to a sidewalk, took his fingers and dipped it into his blood and wrote on a wall,"Viva la Republica", "Abajo los Asesinos", in english "Long Live the Republic","Down with the Assassins". A girl from Mayaguez by the name of Dominga Cruz Becerril, who was already away from harm, when she noticed that the Flag was on the floor, she immediately went back into the danger zone and courageously picked the Flag up and walked towards a hospital. She was later asked, why did she go back? Her response was, and I quote "Our Master has said the Flag should always be flying". Do you know who that Master was? None other than Pedro Albizu Campos, the leader of the Nationalist Party.

To many when they hear of the Nationalist Party, the first name that pops up is Pedro Albizu Campos. Some may be asking why did I not mention him in this essay. Pedro Albizu Campos, to me is one, if not the greatest Revolutionary Leaders in the history of the struggle of Puerto Rico. I apologize for not mentioning him in this essay, but as you may know that he was incarcerated during the Ponce Massacre of March 21, 1937. But regardless of his whereabouts, his influence and legacy will always be admired by true seekers of an Independent Puerto Rico.

I truly felt the need to give a tribute to the Ponce Massacre. I also felt the need to write this essay to hopefully enlighten those Puerto Ricans living in the u.s. I gave a young fellow Puerto Rican brother a copy of the literature that described the events of the Ponce Massacre, and it hurt me, because when he gave it back, the words that came out of his mouth was, "that he has always thought that the u.s. was always there to help Puerto Rico and its people". But as he found out, that help was never the intentions of the u.s., but rather to exploit.

Anyone willing to go into more details of the event of March 21, 1937, I recommend you look for a book titled, "Albizu Campos and the Ponce Massacre", written by Juan Antonio Corretjer, which is the book that I have obtained information in putting together this essay.

—Dedicated to those who died and survived the Ponce Massacre, you will never be forgotten for your Heroic stance.

MIM(Prisons) adds: In the internal semi-colonies of the united $tates we generally face an upward battle in awakening the inherent anti-imperialism of the struggle for national self-determination. It is not just a lack of knowledge of the true relation between amerikkkans and Boriquas, as this comrade laments and attempts to counteract through this essay. There is also a real belief among Boriquas that they too can be amerikkkans. Making that temptation a reality was the reason that u$ citizenship was forced upon them in 1917. Ever since then Puerto Ricans have had free access to the richest country on the planet, while those on the island were able to benefit from u$ sponsored social programs.

While the majority may be sucked in by the imperialists' carrots at this stage, there remains a vibrant and armed resistance to u$ occupation among Boriquas. Ultimately, the people must learn from the oppressor that they must fight to be free. But by educating around the historical and contemporary oppression of the people of Puerto Rico, Aztlán, New Afrika, and the First Nations we can plant the seeds of future resistance when the oppressed in north amerika give up amerikkkanism to join with the world's majority in a struggle against oppression and exploitation.

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