The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Education]
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MIM literature opening eyes

Greetings! Let me start by saying "thank you - thank you" for sending me the newsletters (MIM Notes). It was very much appreciated. MIM Notes gives us important news and as of this moment they're being shared with others, opening the eyes/minds to our struggles. Especially the prison news Under Lock & Key. I ask in the interest of myself/others if you could please send me more MIM Notes. Thank you for your time and hard work!

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[International Connections] [California]
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Koncentration Kamps

"We have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, we cannot fail but to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real test in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction - unreal objectives such as rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization." - George Kennan (U.S. State Department, 1948, Policy Planning Staff)

The above realpolitik or geo-political strategic assessment here quoted ought to put to death all Liberal or social-democratic dreams of the naïve that Amerika is somehow the "good guy" nation on a mission of manifest destiny to bring freedom and justice to oppressed and exploited "uncivilized children" of the world. To actually believe such obvious deception in propaganda and professed public policy of the state and corporations places one in a position of outright complicity with imperialism and white supremacy and operates to mock the very principles of justice and human freedom.

Invariably, when we hear or read or see something regarding concentration camps the immediate image which we conjure without fail are those dealing or associated with the Jewish Holocaust. Perhaps on rare occasions we recall images of the Japanese-Amerikans internment in concentration camps during World War II in the bastion of "democracy" where no German-Amerikans were subject to similar oppressive treatment even though the U.S. was also at war (i.e. imperialist blood-death nation-state engagements by use of their patriotic immersed subordinate and compliant classes as always) with its white supremacist's brethren Nazi Germany. Vaguely or almost never does anyone recall the imprisonment of Afrikans in Mussolini's and Hitler's concentration camps and most certainly absolutely no memory of the First Nations forced marches into united states concentration camps from whence Hitler learned the lesson as a faithful student.

Although these historical atrocities and acts of inhumane repression are no doubt extremely significant and deserving of our sympathetic remembrance and understanding of the political interests and strategic motives that drove them or were involved, these examples of concentration camps are not the ones that I actually have in mind. No, the koncentration kamps are not the ones that I actually have in mind. No, the koncentration kamps that I have in mind are in fact not of some distant or recent past, and neither am I referring to modern day prison plantations for the poor and nationally and/or racially oppressed. The Koncentration Kamps which I have in mind are instead alive and up and running most efficiently in virtually every corner of the world and their rate of blatant and subtle extermination and enslavement far exceeds those above in their incessant and insatiable operations for capital accumulation, i.e. Globalization.

In fact, it can be rightly argued that those examples of people being forced into koncentration kamps and denied their basic human rights were the direct consequence of and indeed prosecuted ultimately by the exact same criminally monstrous phenomenon which is hardly dead or has not been dismantled but is still savagely afoot and gaining momentous raving powers. The oppressive and brutally murderous Koncentration Kamps which I am here referring to is what has been defined politically as Imperialism. Imperialism is precisely that - a koncentration of kamps. Terms like that of "neo-liberalism," "globalization," "world market," etc. are nothing more than deceptive euphemisms deployed to disguise from us the real enemy in which we are confronted and enclosed. To a great extent "he is an old enemy" merely returned in sly new form and with new tricks and treats in tactics as his strategic objective of economic, socio-cultural and politico-military domination remains ever malevolent in its motives.

In Marxist and Leninist terms or political philosophy, imperialism in its "modern" manifestation revolves around the concentration and monopolization of capital by corporations and the penetration of this capital into the global economy resulting, as calculated, in the domination of various or innumerable nation-states whose local economies become nothing more than horse tracks or gambling casinos for imperialist powers from Amerika, France, Canada, Britian, Japan, Germany, etc to bet (invest) in as they maneuver to secure a predominant or influential foothold in the country of target, thus placing themselves in an advantageous position to engage in the exploitation of superprofits via markets, banks, cheap wage labor in industries, theft of raw materials, natural resources, debt-loans, etc.

In other words, it is the accumulation of greater and greater capital (wealth and power) in the hands of multinational corporations from countries which are of the imperialist koncentration kamps. The bulk of the earth's wealth (every creature's survival source) is either directly or indirectly under these empires or their corporations domination as they exploit and oppress the Third World.

They pursue and employ a concentrated economic, political and military strategy aimed at securing and sustaining their rapacious death-grip on resources and cheap labor to generate enormous profits for each of their respective kamps, i.e. the spoils of imperialist methods of monopoly-damnation and extermination. Truth be told, the world is a koncentration kamp by the operative measures of imperialism on all fronts (e.g., wars of aggression for oil, economic embargos that literally kill thousands of children as happened in Iraq, IMF/World Bank extortion programs which force reductions in social services like that of heath care, education, and workers to work at lower wages even as the value of local currency decreases by command, famines due to man-made soil contamination by mining methods, etc.).

"I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers…I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras 'Right' for American fruit companies in 1903. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints." - Marine Corps General, Smedly D. Butler

Why do y'all really think world misleaders such as the G-8, or is it the G-9 now, concentrate annually in kamps in secluded and heavily guarded imperialist home fronts? Why does every U.$. President meet with corporate executives or owners at Kamp David where they scheme in concentration? What is ultimately the European Union project about but that of imperialist ambitions, i.e., greater penetration and expansion of capital into Afrika, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin Amerika, etc. The G-8 meets in conspiracy to not only resolve their geo-political contradictions but also to discuss a collective strategic program aimed toward consolidation of imperialist interests projected and superimposed on the Third World.

The wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq are very instructive examples of just how koncentration kamps are in definite pursuit of globalization of its economic, political, and military imperatives. At the pinnacle of the primitive accumulation pyramid are multinational corporations (e.g., DeBeers, Lockheed-Martin, Exxon-Mobile, Royal Dutch-Shell, BP-Amoco, Wal-Mart, Starbucket, Carlyle, Bectel, Halliburton and too many more to list from especially the G-8 nations.) They are in pursuit of cobalt, gas, oil, diamonds, rubber, gold, etc.

Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, et al. are another "Texas Alamo" calculating stunt on behalf of the U.S. as it required a pretext to wage wars aimed at checking competitors and destroying nationalization of resources by methods of "hostile takeovers" against weaker nation-states by imperialist enclosures or what I dub koncentration kamps

MIM(Prisons) replies: We believe the term imperialism is sufficient for representing the system of global multinational domination of capitalism described in this article and so we do not see reason for the added descriptor of "koncentration kamps." But this article is a good overview of the death and destruction brought on the Third World by the world's imperialist countries.

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[Control Units] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Control units - living like dogs

I am a youngster serving time in one of California's control units - Tehachapi - and although I haven't been here long and don't have much longer to be here, I already have much to say about it and prison in general. But then again, wh owouldn't in a place where you could compare your lifestyle and living to that of a caged animal?

Twice a day you have contact with someone other than your cellie (that is if you have a cellie). They approach your door opening that small tray slot of your steel door, throwing a meal at you for breakfast in the early hours of the morning. Then you receive a meal for dinner at the late hours of mid-evening.

I understand that it may seem that this is a lot better than it could be, seeing how there are people around the world who are starving. But I ask you, how much worse can things get in this land of the so-called free? When you are served half cooked, spoiled meat in a pot of grease. Then given a mixer of maltodextrin, ascorbic acid, aspartame, and acesulfame K as your beverage to wash it all down. How much worse can it get, when you're given concrete and slabs of steel for beds to lay on, and told to sit like a trained dog, for sometimes 24 hours a day with no movement.

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[National Oppression] [Theory]
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One spoiled reactionary bunch

How can we realistically get people in Amerika who are engrossed by individual pursuits and whose priorities are dominated and determined by the values of capitalism (e.g., material and financial acquisition, private motivated endeavors, etc.) to truly care for human beings in other parts of the world on a sustained and meaningful basis when in fact we can't even get most to give a damn for their so-called fellow citizens or oppressed nationalities right here in the "land of milk and honey and peaches and cream?"

I mean, let's be real right up the block, around the corner or across the Manhattan bridge, there is no genuine concern as the "Love Thy Neighbor" command has absolutely no lasting potency over the hearts and minds of the multitude in this cruel nation. We know it's a "dog eat dog" mentality out there and the "survival of the fittest" complex is the prevailing cornerstone of Capitalism.

The United Snakes is a cannibalized beast! Fundamentally, the problem is world-view. By world-view I don't merely mean how one views life, but I also mean the culture that cultivates and rationalizes this world-view. Obviously, as a culture capitalism is all around us and touches every aspect of our lives (i.e., financially, medically, educationally, psychologically, morally, recreationally, sexually, etc.).

Thus, it is really a wonder that the citizens and oppressed nationalities of the Amerikan Empire are a spoiled and reactionary bunch? Opportunism and free-loading are the true favorite Amerikan past times and not the NBA or NFL - well, I better add deep denial to this list of obsessions. And yes, this "equally" applies to the New Afrikan colonized nation in which I struggle to help realize its due right to liberation and state power.

"We" are a truly chicken shit culture that prides itself on fuckin' over people and being criminally indifferent toward those who are bombed, raped, robbed, and murdered by ruling class genocidal pirates. Yes, the masses too want to share in the booty, that's precisely why the "booty call" is so popular in the mass psyche. Let us in on the kill or stolen loot and we'll shut the hell up with all of this "keep hope alive" crap.

From the ghetto-hell Thug, the papered ass paid and sold "working class", etc. Amerika is a self-indulged - PIMP! "That bitch betta have my money" is its clarion. Alienation is the quintessential hallmark of capitalism as it is a system rooted in private property and irrational estrangement from mother nature as she is perceived and treated as nothin' more than an entity to be dominated and exploited just as the human woman. Most everybody is driven to get their "piece of the pie" or some "blood diamond bling" and couldn't give a fuck about what suffers to make such possible.

Now that's being a realist and true revolutionary in commitment and dialectical analysis and anything less is game by those who are prisoners of the pimp complex, period! This shit ain't hard to tell as reality speaks her truth by those bold enough in their politics and conscience to listen.

The sanctioned methods (virtues) of being a Rockerfella cutthroat, a Ford backstabber, Dole shrewdly manipulative and Al Capone brutally competitive are the foundational principles of capitalism (Amerika) as folks like Suge Knight, Russell Simmons, Bill Gates, Don King, et al. have learned to apply most effectively by observing the Wall Street sharks in their frenzied "I gotta get mines, you gotta get yours" ideology of "me, myself, and I." Until this shit really appalls you or makes one sick at the damn stomach, nothing will move the masses to struggle for a more just world as it for now is - just about us.

Myself, I'm counting on an economic melt-down and wars of international liberation with the aim of building localized strategic communalist-oriented zones of undyin' revolution on a fraternal basis.

The game - game my ass this be some real death-blood human misery shit that is serious - of capitalism is raw and murderous and most in this nation know and accept this rule as an inevitable reality as to their minds the greed impulse is simply too formidable a human quality to ever check and this is exactly one of the main reasons most believe in apathy, the ruling classes propaganda (i.e. feed on it like candy) as to communism supposedly being a naive and utopian idea.

How do we make the communal idea - imperative - attractive or appealing on a mass level in the face of say a Jay-Z, 50cent, Queen Latifa, Lil-Kim, Magic Johnson, Oprah, Coby Bryant, et al. bubbling in out-of-control wealth or the rewards of capitalism? Who wants to genuinely forfeit their dream or aspiration of one day possibly being just like Mike? The images of abundance and happiness in wild extravagance, though most shall never be in a position to experience such decadent and truly spiritually void life, has inordinate power over their minds and hearts of most people in the "land of the free."

The illusion is so powerful that people don't even bother to consider or even see the blatant contradiction in the saying "land of the free" when in fact one must pay for everything in this society - "from tha craddle to tha grave!" One can't even escape capitalism's parasitic reach in the fuckin' coffin...pathetic and sadistic are the values of Capitalist man and woman indeed.

A callous vampire and leech is what Amerika and imperialist countries like her are where "though shalt not worship idols" is nothin' more than a commercial brand for or in the name of profit.

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[Control Units] [Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUII] [Arizona]
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21 years in Super Max with no way out

Receiving your newspapers let me read what you're about and I am very impressed. As I see that MIM stands firmly against the criminal injustices and engages in reformist battles to improve the lives of prisoners.

I am particularly drawn to the section Under Lock & Key: News from Prisons & Prisoners, as I myself am a prisoner housed in SMU-2, the Super Maximum Security Lockdown unit here in Arizona State Prison.

I have been slammed down in super maximum security lockdown units since 9/14/87, to this very day. On 9/14/87, I was slammed down in CB#6, the first super max lockdown unit. On 8/1/89, I was transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-1 and remained until 2/1/96, and then transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-2, special management unit.

This particular unit was built to house all alleged prison gang members and street gang members. Once validated by a special committee, prisoners are sent to this unit to remain until one renounces his alleged gang membership and agrees to cooperate with DOC officials and give information about himself and fellow prisoners; or, until he paroles; or, until his sentence is served. If he is serving a life sentence will just die in this unit.

Last year the Department of Corrections implemented a release program (Step Down) for all STG members housed in SMU-2. Many prisoners, including myself, had filed civil complaints against DOC for illegally locking up prisoners in SMU-2 and for subjection to cruel and unusual punishment and for indefinitely keeping prisoners in lockdown.

The Step Down program was implemented in 2006 and activated May 21,2006. The first ten prisoners (hand selected) where chosen to participate, and a few months later another ten were chosen to participate. As of yet, no other prisoners have been chose to participate in the program, and as of yet, none of the first 20 prisoners have been released or transferred to other units.

Since the DOC implemented a release program from SMU-2 for STG members, all the active and pending civil complaints filed by SMU-2 prisoners have been dismissed.

So what has actually happened is DOC can now show the courts they do in fact have a release program for SMU-2 prisoners. So now prisoners cannot file complaints of being indefinitely locked up in SMU-2and DOC now can say this prisoner or that prisoner poses an indefinite threat to the prison population and security and orderly operations of the prison.

In truth, prisoners do not benefit from the implementation of the Step Down program.

In truth, it is DOC that benefits from the implementation of the Step Down program. They now have absolute power to play God with the SMU-2 prisoners.

I was validated as an alleged prison gang member back in the 1980s and slammed down. Since being in lockdown, I had completed the criteria for release back into general population many times over and over. But every time I went before the reclassification committees I was denied release and told by the committees that I pose an indefinite threat to the prison's rival gang members.

I was transferred to this unit SMU-2 the very first day it opened on 2/1/1996, from SMU-1, and still remain (against my will).

I'm in my 21st year straight of being locked away in super maximum security lockdown units and in my eleventh year straight here in SMU-2. I will remain here in SMU-2, indefinitely, or until I renounce alleged gang membership, or, until I am hand selected to participate in the said Step Down program.

SMU-2 is a mirror reflection of many of the other Special Management Units across the united states. We sit in windowless cells measuring approximately 10' x 8'. We are locked in our individual cells 24 hours per day except for three days out of the week for 2 hours we are allowed to go to an empty room with a 20 foot wall and a mesh grate ceiling situated in the back of the pod one man at a time. Our only human contact is when a guard is handcuffing a prisoner up to leave his cell.

We cannot purchase any food from the prison commissary nor receive food packages from the outside. Once a year during the month of December we are allowed to purchase what is called "Christmas store" food beverages and candy.

The meals served daily combined cannot fill a man's stomach. So the mass majority of the prisoners in this unit have lost and continue to lose weight.

We are deprived of immediate medical attention and must submit a health unit request form to be processed and put on the nurse's line. Then she determines whether or not a prisoner needs to see the doctor.

There have been many attempted and successful suicides in this unit that are never released to the media or public.

Prison officials and medical staff are fully aware that the results of long-term isolated confinement causes psychological problems and in some cases irreversible damage to prisoners. And yet, they ignore it.

Our president of the united states gets on the world news and claims prisoners in the united states are not subjected to barbaric living conditions!!

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[Organizing] [Censorship] [Southeast Correctional Center] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 3]
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Struggling and Studying in Missouri

I am writing to inform you that I received the back issues of MIM Notes that you sent me. The papers were informative concerning the issues affecting some of the Souljahs within these slave plantations. Some of the stories motivated me to attempt to put together a study group. We shall see how long this lasts. I say that because I'm the only individual with literature and these guys in the Missouri Slave System are only concerned with what type of material things they have. Don't get me wrong, there are a few revolutionary souljahs who still hold the spirit within, but the numbers are dwindling.

I've managed to organize a few uprisings here in the ASU of the Southeast Correctional Center that caused these hyenas to change a few things. As a result, I've been beat by the goon squad, labeled as an agitator, and my mail has been "disappearing" somehow. Yet I remain strong and rage on!

These hyenas have taken away our phone calls here in the ASU and they've taken away the razors, preventing us from contact with family and grooming ourselves. We don't know what's to come next, they might take away the 3 hours a week recreation in the "dog cages" outside. Soon, I pray that the souljahs and sistah souljahs here in Missouri catch on and rise up.

I'm about to file a lawsuit with the District Court in protest of the "blanket ban" preventing Missouri inmates from receiving free books. Any info on this issue will be appreciated. They feed us romance novels and rob us of substance with this blanket ban in an attempt to keep us deaf, dumb and blind.

Listen brothas, sistahs, souljahs and sistah souljahs, keep the fight going, our time is now. If we don't fight for us, who will. Like I've said, I will continue to form this study group and create as many uprisings as I can.

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[Environmentalism] [National Oppression] [East Jersey State Prison] [New Jersey] [ULK Issue 1]
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From Pollution to Prisons: It's Profit over People

Revolutionary Greetings!!

Before I begin my explosive announcement. I want to thank MIM for their Theory Journals and papers, also the other valuable materials I've requested to build and organize POWs that are confined behind the wall. Right now we are on lockdown at East Jersey State Prison due to retaliation on a female officer yesterday who was beaten and two prisoners fighting on saturday visit, all in one day. This caused outside help like State Police, Gang Task Force and CID officers suited up with sticks and dogs to come in. A bunch of gang members were removed from the prison Saturday due to the serious incidents that occurred.

All this does is strengthen me in knowing that a struggle must start within, it's time for change. Hopefully, the lockdown should be over this week before the family day event.

However, my topic is from the latest journal sent on environment and revolution which deals with pollution problems all over. Where I reside at now in New Jersey there is a mass consumption of pollution and multi-million dollar corporations (kapitalists) who make toxic products and distribute large quantities to different parts of the world. But we have a former Governor of New Jersey Christie Todd Whitman who now is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Pres. George Bush's administration.

Mrs. Whitman messed up a lot of things for prisoners upon leaving office as governor of New Jersey. Everything the old revolutionaries fought and died for in Trenton State Prison to make it better for the next generation was taken away slowly without a fight excluding the street clothes but most importantly, including certain programs, food packages, boxing tournaments, etc.

Mrs. Whitman does not know too much about the environment where she was elected governor, just look at the poor neighborhoods where Blacks and Latinos live at infested with waste plants and steel & toxic plants that are a source of money for big CEO's who keep polluting minority communities. So she really has not cleaned up her act. Here in New Jersey this is having dramatic effects on the earth's atmosphere and climatology.

On channel 7 news she was interviewed by news casters about what did she do about the 9/11 situation when the downtown of Manhatten was saturated with debris, heavy smoke and fire and her not knowing that bodies were still decaying underground near the train and subway stations. Mrs. Whitman turned absolutely cold.

Her husband, Mr. Whitman, has a company that is tied to the Department of Corrections that distributes commissary store items for all the prisons in the state of Jersey. He has a big contract with the prisons. But they're all corrupt taking profits for economic gain for the Whitman klan.

...Thank you, and donations will be coming soon for your outstanding support. Thank You!!

MIM responds: This comrade brings up some good examples of how capitalism, national oppression and environmental degradation are all connected. These examples fit nicely into the thesis of MIM Theory 12 (Environment, Society & Revolution) that the root cause of environmental problems is capitalism. The so-called "EPA" of the leading imperialist country can be headed by someone who made her political career on capitalist profiteering at the expense of oppressed people within her state. Those expenses were felt in the forms of a toxic environment and an increasingly repressive prison system where an increasing portion of the oppressed are ending up.

The dumping of the toxic waste of amerikkkan consumerism on the oppressed is far bigger than the industrial wasteland of the Jersey Turnpike. Right now China is responsible for providing vast amounts of products to amerikkkan consumers at prices only a vast exploited population can provide. Not only do amerikkkans swim in the wealth of Chinese workers in the form of commodities, but they get to leave the toxins required to produce these commodities behind on the opposite side of the world. That's even better than dumping them in the air and water surrounding Newark ghettoes or in open pit mines and landfills on First Nation lands.

Of course, environmental degradation can only be contained to an extent. With global systems being knocked out of whack by the uncontrollable nature of capitalist development, no one is really safe from the effects. Yet amerikkkans as a whole still favor protectionism and even more extreme retribution towards China for the perceived lack of safety in Chinese commodities that their own system has allowed to develop. Those serious environmentalists in the First World need to take a look at what anti-imperialism and socialism have to offer. To get started, pick up a copy of "Environment Society Revolution" at amazon.com.

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[Organizing] [Censorship] [California State Prison, Corcoran] [California]
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Legal battle part of fight against imperialism

You probably know already that the pigs have put MIM on their blacklist to be censored again. Despite the court verdicts saying that any censorship be based on the item in question, not the political beliefs of the publishers. Yeah, these pigs are actually happy and proud of their ability to block out the facts MIM provides us. The crono they gave out just said MIM, not MIM Notes or MIM Theory, just the group they hate. Nothing new though because they've always hated being exposed as fascists, like their pillow case masks are a matter of government safety and it is another way to defend bourgeois hegemony.

I was thinking that after MIM wins the legal battle against Corcoran's personal attack on their ideas, the other publications they hate will also win freedom from being blocked, based on publisher.

I just want you comrades to know that we are still fighting the tyranny and we know you are also. The struggle continues. I feel that U.S. imperialism is on its last legs and that all the hate and enemies they have made are catching up to them. 50 million African Americans, 40 million Latinos in America, 20 million Asians, the yankee Ku Klux is gonna have it very hard, conquering all this! And 400 million Arabs, 1 billion Chinese, 1 billion Indians. These pigs that thought they won a new state, when George Bush used the U.S. military to fight his family feud with Saddam, are in for a rude awakening and will perish in their disgrace and sickness of chauvinism.

I remember all the boasts and brags, about how they were gonna crusade and burn crosses on Iraq's lawn and conquer and settle, but now, 3 trillion dollars later all they have is depleted uranium poison, 4000 dead, I don't know 30,000 wounded? And a ticket back to their nest.

Just like you taught us. The revolution will become reality as their military becomes over-extended in its campaign to colonize and dictate. MIM, you have to write an article about the facts of global oil reserves and touch on the time limit that this imperial collapse will happen, so that people will be prepared to take their own destiny, their own responsibility in their own hands. Just like the communist manifesto says, where the free development of each is the conditions for the free development of all.

MIM responds: This is a good commentary tying censorship to the global situation of imperialist overextension. In response to the request for an article on global oil reserves, we need our comrades, both behind bars and on the streets, to take up the task of writing the articles that are needed. Just supplying us with ideas is not enough as we never have enough people to cover all the important global events. Even in prison, our comrades are resourceful about finding needed research materials.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Civil Liberties] [International Connections]
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An informal renouncement of citizenship

As more reports of abuse surface, and more leaks occur, it's becoming increasingly clear that the Bush regime is and has been engaging in a wide range of war crimes and human rights abuses throughout the world. From the mass killing of Afghani and Iraqi civilians and the intentional destruction of entire cities like Faluja to the use of secret CIA-run prisons and widespread use of illegal tactics such as mass arrests, indefinite detention without access to the courts, kidnapping, torture and assassination, the heartless thugs in Washington have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to achieve their unrealistic goals and will not be restrained by the U.S. Constitution or International Law - much less human compassion or morality. Bush has said it himself: "My job is to protect the American people and I will do everything in my power to do just that." My question is: Who will protect the world from us?

I say "us" when referring to the people of this nation because I was born here. I'm a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent and, like many Mexicans residing north of the fictious border, I straddle two cultures. On one hand, I feel fortunate for the fact that I enjoy more freedoms and a better standard of living than my compatriots to the south; on the other hand, I understand quite well how my liberties and the great wealth of America are directly tied to the oppression and poverty of the Third World.

I say "us" because even though it wasn't so long ago that America waged a war of aggression against Mexico and stole more than half of its national territory, and even though I refuse to fully assimilate into white society and struggle daily against racism and the preposterous idea that I'm a foreigner in my own land, I am part of this nation. I mean, I pay taxes and take back what I can in the form of public services, health care, social development, etc. Many of my family members and loved ones also live here and greatly benefit from being American citizens. Some have even joined the military and, as I write, are fighting for this country overseas.

I say "us" because even though I don't take part in the electoral system, and even though I don't know anyone who voted for Bush, like it or not he is the President and his government is running the show. As far as the world is concerned, Bush was "elected" (and "re-elected") by a majority of Americans; he's the leader we "chose." I'm personally ashamed to call this theocratic fascist my "leader" — just as I imagine a person of conscience living in Germany during Hitler's reign would have been ashamed to claim the Fuhrer as his or her leader - but, hey, the truth is the truth, right?

I say "us" because even though I'm firmly against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even though I'm sickened by everything this country is doing in the Mid-East and throughout the world, it's apparent that those affected most by American atrocities rarely distinguish between someone like me and, say, someone like my relatives (who joined the military prior to 9/11 in the hopes of getting money for college but are now taking part in a shameful war). What Arabs and other Muslims see on their television screens or in the streets of Baghdad or Ramadi is American soldiers of all races and ethnicities. They, like many others inside and outside the U.S., suck up the whole melting pot theory and view us as one people.

I say "us" because even though I strongly object to capitalism and neo-liberalism and globalization, and even though it strikes a chord deep in my heart when I see what American corporations and trade policies and structural loans do to poor people in Latin America and Africa and Asia, I don't exactly refuse the benefits that come my way.

I say "us" because I know that statistically-speaking it's not a question of IF but WHEN the enemies of this nation will strike again. Intelligence officials - who have proven not to be so intelligent - have to be able to "connect the dots" 100% of the time in order to prevent another attack, and that's impossible. Numerical odds dictate that one day soon we're going to wake up like we did on September 11, 2001, and we're going to discover that somebody who hates us with a passion has managed to get their hands on a nuclear or biological weapon. Tens-of-thousands of ordinary people - folks like me and you and the old lady next door - will take the brunt of the attack while our so-called leaders - folks like Cheney and Rove and Rumsfeld, the true architects of everything that's going on right now - will be safe and secure in some underground bunker.

I say "us" because I'm beginning to realize something: I'm part of this nation, part of this law of supply and demand, part of this constant "need" for more land, more resources, more power and influence. And this isn't just some abstract or theoretical concept. Bush had it right when he arrogantly declared that "people are either with us or against us." In a struggle like this, an unending war with dire consequences for all of humanity, one must choose sides. You can't be a friend of the exploited and oppressed and, at the same time, a friend of the exploiter and oppressor. You can't support or be a part of the war machines and, at the same time, support or be a part of those crushed by that machine.

I say "us" but the more I think about it, and the more death and destruction I see carried out in my name, the more I realize that I don't want to be American if being American means contributing to or being complicit in any form of exploitation or murder.

I say "us" but I should be saying "them" because, from this day forward, I renounce this nation and forever waive any rights or benefits as a U.S. citizen. In fact, I am Mexican and I didn't cross the border; it crossed me. Time can't change that fact - just as it can't change the fact that my people have the memory of an elephant. One day, perhaps when America is most terrorized and vulnerable, we will rise up and take back what is rightfully ours. We will reject this people-eating, soul-crushing system and demand our freedom and dignity - and if they don't give it to us we'll take it! On that day we will say to the American people: "You're either with us or them." And to everyone else we'll say: Join our cause. Help us destroy this evil empire and, afterwards, build a free and just society - not just for Mexicans but everyone.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade is right on in renouncing his/her stake in the imperialist country. We call it committing class/nation/gender suicide. Rather than giving up class/nation/gender privilege that comes automatically to citizens of Amerika, we call on people to use those privileges to the advantage of the struggle against imperialism.

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[Theory] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 1]
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Terminology: Prisoners, inmates or captives

Please, comrades at MIM, I have one small favor to ask. Please do not address us as "inmate" or "prisoner" or a number. We are "captives". Please address us as "captives."

An inmate is one who is brainwashed to believe he or she is still part of the U.S. An establishment that bows down and conforms and obeys the pigs and snakes and dogs, who hopes and dreams of being part of the USA system again. An inmate has a parole date within 5 to 10 years, with half time, and is totally controlled by his or her parole date.

A prisoner/number is one who believes and is brainwashed by some kind of prison gang and believes this gang is looking out for his or her best interest. One who does nothing to better themselves or educate themselves. One who sports an Amerikan flag on his or her coffee cup, roots for some u.s. corporate football/baseball/basketball team, who speaks and thinks the typical cretin prisoner mentality.

A captive informs him or herself, educates him or herself, understands the power of strong unconditional unity, always resist and fights to defeat their nazi-plutocratic pig captors, one being exploited by his or her captor to extort profit.

MIM responds: The Prison Ministry has long had a policy of using the term "prisoner" and not the term "inmate," so we have agreement there. Many have made the same distinction between the terms that this comrade makes.

We have always used the term prisoner because it makes clear the captive relationship between the imprisoned and those doing the imprisoning. In fact, we consider all prisoners political prisoners, precisely because of the political nature of the criminal injustice system that makes political distinctions between arrests, trials, juries, laws and sentences to disproportionately lock up oppressed nations.

We can generally agree with the break down of prisoners into three groups, those allied with imperialism, those opposed to it and those who are stuck in a lumpen mentality and potential allies to either of the first two groups. However, as an extremely oppressed group of people there is much potential for the revolutionary awakening of the imprisoned lumpen. And as one of the few groups in the united $tates that are potential allies to liberation struggles as a group, we can refer to them as "prisoners" and mean it to designate prisoners as being of the "masses." The degree that we need to divide the group we call "prisoners" will change as the struggle advances and it will be useful in certain contexts, but generally they are "prisoners" and therefore potential allies, if not explicit allies. We are not convinced that the term "captive" does a better job clarifying this than the term prisoner. We welcome feedback on this question from our readers as we are always working to refine our language to serve our political purposes.

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