The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. help out
[New Afrika] [Principal Contradiction] [ULK Issue 85]
expand

i Was Blind, But Now i See

Power to New Afrika

When i was first introduced to the concepts and ideology of NARN (New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalism) and New Afrikan Nationhood i subjectively analyzed it, thinking that it was based on narrow-nationalism that was focused on representing “race.” My narrow-mindedness would act as an impediment to my own development, which would ultimately prevent me from ascertaining that NARN actually provides a complete social, political and economic theory that constitutes a comprehensive network of principles, rules, beliefs, values and morals that teaches Us the importance of decolonization and National Independence.

You see many of Us profess to be all-the-way revolutionary, when in fact We are actually robots running on dogmatism and stale formulas. i myself was a robot running on dogmatism and stale formulas, a robot that was inimically opposed to any and all concepts and ideologies that were not compatible with my own.

My ignorance would persist up until recently when i had an experience similar to the supernatural experience that all Christians claim to have, e.g “i heard god talking to me and i seen the light.” However, my experience was corporeal.

i use the analogy because it epitomizes exactly what transpired. i was reading Atiba Shanna’s [AKA James Yaki Sayles] book Meditations On Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth.(1) But it was Atiba Shanna emself talking to me and “the light” grew brighter with each page i read, i began to have a different perspective.

Prior to being aroused from my pontifical stupor i had wrote a response to a poem titled, “White in the Mix” that had been published in the No. 82 Summer 2023 edition of Under Lock & Key, wherein i criticized the author’s idea of not seeing color as it related to “race” and proceeded to provide what at the time i thought to be insight into what is the criterion for the “white” revolutionary. Who else better than me to elucidate this? A former member of the White Panther Organization and the epitome of an anti-racist. One would assume that i was more than capable of elucidating race/racism.

Instead of being published my letter was met with criticism, which i automatically assumed was subjective, due to the disputes i had with the komrades of MIM. However, this assumption was a manifestation of my own subjectivism. The truth is my criticism was based on binary opposites “Black” and “White” (racial categories), thusly the komrades rightfully deemed my response to the poem as being contradictory to NARN and a further perpetuation of the myth of “race.”

It is difficult not to perceive everything through a racialized lens when the truth is that hundreds of years of racial oppression have ingrained this way of thinking in our minds. Even thinking of ourselves as “Whites” or “Blacks” testifies to the success the colonizers have had in undermining Our conscious as human beings.

Moreover, said thinking upholds the concept of “race” and promotes racialized thought and practice that ultimately impedes the advancement of national and social revolution.

Even though the author of the poem claims to see no color (which is an idea promoted by the conservative bourgeoisie that perpetuates the concept of “white” power) it is obvious that his ideas and ideals are based on society’s racialized paradigms, moreover, it is evident that the komrade has yet to understand that until he commits class suicide/white privilege suicide, that he is indeed complicit in the oppression of the oppressed nations that is perpetuated by the oppressor nation – the Amerikan nation.

As Komrade Atiba emphasized:

“To commit class suicide means to”Kill” the (class) consciousness of the bourgeois/capitalist order that exercises hegemony in our lives and minds. We tend to think of revolutionary activity as that which takes place outside ourselves – as overthrowing the capitalist institutions and property relations – but We seldom think of the need to uproot the bourgeois ideas in our own minds, to repudiate the values, morals, and the entire range of beliefs that We now hold “in so far as they are bourgeois.”(2)

Class suicide was first a theory engendered by the great Amilcar Cabral, therein he was referring to the Afrikan petty-bourgeoisie (a very small elite class in 1960s-1970s Afrika). This class were the only “natives” with a full colonial style education, had been to universities in europe and amerikkka and had returned and been hand-picked by the colonialists to work in the government public institutions. Similar to DuBois’ Talented Tenth Theory, Cabral saw that the Afrikan masses would have to be led by that petty-bourgeoisie, but to prevent the reality of a new bourgeoisie and neo-colonial establishment in native face, the petty-bourgeoisie had to commit “class suicide.” They had to bring what made them “elite” and lay it at the feet of the masses, allow those masses to gain and learn from the elite’s expertise and learn from the masses.

What that meant was forgetting the subtle notions of white supremacist theories they had been implanted with from youth. Forget the notion that all things Western are superior, come back to “the source”, return to the culture of your native people, relearn your native tongue, remove the Western name you’ve adopted, the clothes, the wealth and privilege. PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) cadre were stationed in the countryside engaging with the peasants, seeing their daily lives, creating the institutions and programs to improve their lives (from the masses to the masses). The peasant masses were getting political education and tools needed to defeat the enemy. This was “class suicide” for them. Similar to Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China around the same time.

Now as it pertains to the Euro-Amerikkkan committing “class suicide” the process will be different, but to make it as clear as possible you will have to objectively forget your whiteness, while simultaneously utilizing it to gain advantages for the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM).(3) You would be required to engage in the most extreme revolutionary factions instead of hiding in the comfort of your whiteness.

As the Komrad Triumphant advised me: “Forget your whiteness even when those around you (especially New Afrikans) try their damnedest to make you remember. Forget your whiteness.”

Our class is the lumpen, and here in Amerikkka We’ll have to simultaneously organize as a class for itself while also committing class suicide, by abandoning the culture (ways of living/thinking) that accompanies the lumpen, in favor of an international proletarian class analysis. This abandonment is the fundamental function of class suicide and white privilege suicide.

When committing to such an endeavor one must be scientific in their thinking and not be like the “whites” Malcolm X spoke of, those who join the struggle for New Afrikan liberation because they are seeking to appease their conscience for all the horrible things done to New Afrikans and other oppressed nations by the oppressor nation.

Most “whites” will not be able to make such a commitment, not until there is a deep societal change among those who make up the oppressor nation and this is fine, because the New Afrikan nation doesn’t need the support of the colonial-oppressor system. In fact, as New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalists not only are we actively seeking to resist all oppression and the malignant sickness of the colonial oppressor-system but we are striving to build our own independent nation that would enable us to provide our people with food, shelter, clothes, education and other such essentials for Our own self-determination.

In closing, i want to express that i know there will be many who vehemently disagree with what has been said and will assume that i’ve taken this “wanna be” to a whole other level and i am laying the foundation for the New Afrikan identity to be hijacked by “white” people. My response to you is this:

Let me hasten to point out: By “New Afrikans” i don’t mean “black” people. i mean those who came to identify their nationality as “New Afrikan,” and who thus exhibit the consciousness and embrace the values and philosophy… those who pursue the goals of the “New Afrikans.” To me, to be a “New Afriakn” is not about the color of one’s skin, but about one’s thoughts and practice. i know that not everyone agrees with this, but that’s their problem…“(2)

Free the Land
Da Real One

Postscript: It’s only right that i give a clenched Fist Salute and a sincere thank you to the Komrad Triumphant of T.E.A.M.O.N.E & The Brow Box Collective for being so instrumental in my political development as a New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist. Thank you, Komrad, you walk it how you talk it.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We commend this comrade for making a public self-criticism following the feedback ey received from us and further study. We are all in the process of transforming ourselves, so engaging with others with shared goals, who have studied dialectical and historical materialism, is a necessary and ongoing part of all of our political development. We cannot change society without changing ourselves. We have a short study pack on the theory of Intercommunalism, which is the ideology this author has promoted in the past, if others are interested.

One of the main reasons we officially began using New Afrikan in place of “Black” was for the reason this comrade gives.(4) Similarly we have come to use Euro-Amerikan more consistently in place of “white.” The terms Black and white have their place and are still used and understood by the masses, but using them too much reinforces the racial constructs of the oppressor as this author explains.

In our study of the recently released Collected Works of the Black Liberation Army we also came across their very explicit inclusion of all revolutionary people into the Black or New Afrikan nation. Again, the author rightly offers some caution here. And we’d go further to stress the historical errors that have been forced onto oppressed nations by integrating with oppressor nations in the revolutionary struggle. We also believe different oppressed nations face different conditions that often warrant separate parties, while recognizing their struggles to be the same overall and favoring as much unity as possible. The answer is going to have to be determined in each situation. But clearly we must stand by the principle that (Euro-)Amerika is an oppressor nation and an ally of imperialism and not a base for revolution.

Notes: 1. for a review of this book see: Wiawimawo, May 2011, Education of the Nation, Under Lock & Key 20
2. James Yaki Sayles, 2010, Meditations On Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, Kersplebedeb and Spear & Shield Publications.
3. A California prisoner, February 2017, To Identify as White is to Identify as Oppressor, Under Lock & Key 55
4. MIM(Prisons), November 2013, Terminology Debate: Black vs. New Afrikan, Under Lock & Key No. 35.

chain
[Police Brutality] [Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

Bang Bang on Police Violence

        Bang Bang!
        Hit the nail on its head
       Set sailing this Captain
      That Capped him
      Liquid fled
     From the hole in one
    And flowed on the concrete
   As the theme song playing in his chest fades to a non-beat
 Eyes that wouldn’t see years more than 15
Puberty was right around the corner
If he could have searched the end of the block
The ground blocked his decent to hell
 So to heaven he went
 Sole followed the light of a patrol car
 This bloody nightmare
 That it seems we’ll never wake from
 Still police escape from
    Apprehension
Under the false pretenses
Of duty to a community
That’s so in fear it’s from police they flee
Hoping to see Another day
Or we’ll hear our last sound Bang Bang
 Before we’re blown away…
chain
[Black Lives Matter] [Civil Liberties] [Legal] [New Afrika] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 85]
expand

Do Black Lives Really Matter?

Never Forget Tulsa - 21 June 1921

This question is not a matter of ancillary importance. Why? Because it seems as if after George Floyd was sadistically and undoubtedly murdered on camera for all to see by a person who was employed as a police officer supposedly standing under the motto of serve and protect (let them tell it), all of a sudden white America was finally awakened after 400 years of conveniently sleeping under the blanket of “better them than me.” (For the record of course “we know all white people are not racist”. Yeah, we know that to be a statement of gospel.)

I myself predicted seriously, when Rodney King (R.I.P) was beaten by obvious racist cops like a pair of weathered drums in Tommy Lee’s garage, that change would somehow slip through the cracks of injustice in the early nineties. However, that was daycare in comparison with what occurred on the unfortunate day of 21 June 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a Black shoe shiner was arrested for assaulting a white girl in an elevator. The Publisher of the local paper, eager to win a circulation war published a front page headline screaming, “To Lynch Negro Tonight.”

It was indeed a familiar occurrence for a Black man accused of sexually assaulting a white woman in the Deep South era. Rewind and fast forward to 21 June 1921 after the paper hit the streets an angry white mob began to gather outside of the courthouse where the Black shoe shiner (Dick Rowland) was being held (Rowland would be later released after the women refused to press charges). That alone reeks of rel-a-tion-ship. Some Blacks from the Tulsa neighborhoods of Greenwood – some were recently discharged war vets – began to descend upon the courthouse with the objective of saving Rowland from being lynched. Long story short, shots were fired and total chaos broke out. As a result over 12,000 whites were fully backed by the white police force. In all, 300 black lives were taken in vain, 1,200 homes burned to the ground and not a single (white) person arrested or ever held accountable for these untimely deaths of Black men, women and kids. To sugar coat the incident it was labeled a riot but in realty is was no less than ethnic cleansing genocide carried out on American soil. So do Black Lives Really Matter in the eyes of white America?

A couple of more Black lives in question, two of the greatest leaders to ever walk the earth, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mr. Malcolm X. At the time of their tragic assassination FBI agents were indeed on the scene under the orders of racist FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover as if they where known terrorists. J. Edgar Hoover was said to express paranoid thinking that Martin Luther King would one day turn radical and his followers would no longer turn the other cheek to the nasty side of injustice and racism. Even though up until his fatal demise he showed not the slightest hint of radicalism. Malcolm X had continuously complained to law enforcement that his life was in danger and he often requested a gun permit, which was apparently never granted.

Now the very thing that initiated this question/article in my head as I sit behind enemy lines in a cell for allegedly selling crack cocaine that conveniently was found behind a pay phone on the South Side of Dallas, Texas: Here I’ve remained for the last 20 years as if I murdered the President. Make no mistake I am not miserable nor bitter as I continue to seek justice in my case. Yeah, I was found not guilty of the exact same indictment and found guilty of the exact same offense. This is overtly obvious Double Jeopardy under the 5th Amendment. It does take 20 years for the courts to grasp this simple and clear vital error which was made purposely to get a conviction due to the fact that I refused to cop-out to a charge I was totally innocent of.

So I have educated myself since I have been incarcerated and there is no way of avoidance on behalf of the courts. Every so called law enforcement affiliate that I have relayed this information to has turned a blind eye to my situation so as of now I am in a lawless environment and failure is not an option as the system attempts to sweep me under the rug so to speak to cover their criminal activity. Now tell me, do Black Lives Really Matter?


MIM(Prisons) adds: Studying Black history like Tulsa, and current events in Palestine, the connections are clear. While the imperialists haven’t dropped any bombs on New Afrika in a few decades now, the low intensity warfare and genocide continues here in the United $tates. It is fueled by white Amerikans’ paranoid delusions, which make them fear that the oppressed might treat them as bad as they have treated the oppressed. The fact is that the Amerikan project is further along than the I$raeli project, and pacification is in full effect. But the contradictions remain, and cannot be resolved without ending imperialism. The oppressed will not see justice until then.

chain
[Censorship] [Digital Mail] [Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 85]
expand

Updated Info on TX Lawsuit re: Digitalized Mail

Dear UL&K Editor & Staff,

When i originally wrote to you regarding my lawsuit on the digitalized mail, i had NOT yet been assigned a case no. i have one now:

Case No. 2:23-CV-00269
James Logan Diez v. TDCJ-CID
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
Corpus Christi Division

Address of Court:
Clerk @ 1133 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Plaintiff’s Address (for Attorneys, Legal Aid, or Organizations)
James Logan Diez
2399291 McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Dr.
Beeville, TX 78102
  • Prisoners are NOT allowed to correspond with Plaintiff. ALL other INDIVIDUALS may write to Plaintiff using the name, #, and Unit, with:
P.O. Box 660400
Dallas, TX 75266-0400

WARNING Any fellow Texas Prisoner who wants to seek to join this suit as a Defendant WILL be required by the Court to pay applicable fees and court costs – so, don’t put your foot in the pond if you aren’t prepared to swim.

Again – as the Plaintiff – i am extending an open invitation to any Attorneys, Investigators, Paralegals, Researchers, Legal Aid Groups, or Sponsors who would like to offer assistance with this litigation.

  • ALL pleadings filed to date should be available for viewing/downloading on the Court’s public website.

With appreciation for ANY assistance extended into my hand – have a great day and Blessed be.

chain
[New Afrika] [Black Lives Matter] [Civil Liberties] [Police Brutality] [ULK Issue 85]
expand

News From the National Territory: 215 Secret Graves in Jackson Mississippi

numbered grave markers
Numbered posts marking unnamed graves in Mississippi

Within the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM), when We think of Hinds County Mississippi, We often think of El-Malik, or many of Our movement elders building independence for Our people in the heart of dixie. On December 18th, NBC News published the identities of 215 buried bodies that had been secretly hidden behind the Hinds County Penal Colony in a ‘paupers’ graveyard. These 215 people were all buried there between 2016 and December 2023. In total 672 people were buried at this location. Although each of the 215 graves were marked by a metal pole with a number attached indicating unclaimed or unidentified remains, in truth each one of these 215 people were identified by the Hinds County officials and were only unclaimed because officials did not attempt to notify kin of the deceased.

The Wade Family

Of the hundreds of the affected families one of the most striking stories is that of the Wade family, whose matriarch Bettersten Wade was instrumental in bringing the existence of the secret graveyard, next to the jail, to public attention.

In 2019, Jackson pigs pulled over Bettersten’s brother, pulled em out of eir car and slammed em to the ground in such a way that it caused eir death. Eir sister, Bettersten Wade, became a recognizable figure in the local Jackson community as ey waged a relentless public battle to advocate for prosecution of the pigs who were responsible. One of the pigs was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a mere five years. Subsequently, Bettersten Wade filed a wrongful death suit against the Jackson Police Department, this lawsuit is ongoing and has been highly publicized in the local news.

On 5 March 2023, Bettersten Wade’s 37 year-old son, Dexter Wade, left home with a friend but never returned. Bettersten Wade filed a missing person’s report and continuously contacted Jackson and Hinds County officials for months but never got a reply. Then, five months after the fact, an investigator came to eir home to inform em of Dexter’s death.

The story coming from the pigs is that an hour after leaving home, Dexter was hit by a police vehicle driven by an off-duty pig. The illegitimate authorities claim they’ve been unable to reach Ms. Bettersten Wade for months, despite finding Dexter’s wallet with eir I.D. and Ms. Wade’s address, and with Ms. Wade being a known local figure due to eir struggle against police murder of eir brother. Nevertheless, Dexter’s body was buried behind the jail with the number 672 stuck to the pole. To make matters worse, once Ms. Wade found the burial plot ey was told ey would have to pay $250 to the county to have eir son’s remains retrieved, as eir body was considered property of the state of Mississippi!

Ms. Wade and eir lawyer requested to be present when the body was examined, and ey was denied even that dignity and eir humyn courtesy. Dexter’s remains were not embalmed, nor put in a casket, but were stuck in a bag causing rapid decomposing in a shallow grave. When Ms. Wade and eir lawyer arrived the remains of Dexter had already been dug up, “breaking the chains of custody” necessary to determine Dexter’s actual cause of death.

From the results of a later independent autopsy, Dexter Wade’s body was in an advance state of decomposition, showed multiple blunt force injuries to the skull, ribs, and pelvis; in addition eir left leg was completely amputated from eir body. Eir body had been completely ran over by a police vehicle. By secretly burying the body without notifying the family, it makes it unlikely that the official findings of “accidental death” could later be questioned. Number 672 was never meant to be uncovered. But ey was. And the hidden horrors connected to Dexter’s death and burial would subsequently lead to many more families coming forward, finding missing loved ones secretly buried in Pauper’s graveyard behind the prison.

The striking similarities between the Emmett Till murder and attempted cover-up among county and state officials, and this contemporary tragedy highlight the ever present need for programs for decolonization in Jackson and the National Territory more generally. Each tragedy and struggle the people experience in which the inadequacy and/or corruption of the U.$. colonial government can be implicated is an issue We can organize around to intensify the class struggle for national unity.

Intensify the class struggle for national unity

Our lives depend on it!

Re-Build to win!

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Struggle]
expand

A Con Popped

Watching my Every Move to have Some
thing to use against me, protecting you
And your Special Interest Group’s Power

Yet, you know me not and i not also you
Yet, you compare Opposites for Power
And, how come i must Be Nobody

Yet not only book power but street power
And, how come you digress to what’s legit
Being Nobody has Its Advantages

Maybe you’ve mistaken Nobody for Punks
Or you believe we are chumps
You’re unempowered cannon fodder too
chain
[Black Lives Matter] [Principal Contradiction] [National Liberation] [Revolutionary History] [National Oppression] [Political Repression]
expand

Stripping Black History From Prisons

“What makes you think you DESERVE to celebrate Black History Month”- SIS Officer at USP Tucson

These were the words that were spoken to me a few years ago, here at United States Penitentiary - Tucson, shortly before I was illegally put in the SHU (Special Housing Unit) for 40 days.

Before this incident, i was the Secretary of the Black History Month Committee here for three consecutive years, and had more experience in the committee than anyone else over the last five years. But on this particular year, as I reflect back on this, the Education Department did absolutely nothing for us in preparing for Black History Month. We were promised the resources, but as we worked from November of the previous year to February of that next year, we found that when it was time to promote Black History Month, there was nothing set aside for us to carry out any of the activities promised.

We had nothing.

I am writing this now, in February 2024, and I am again at the realization that USP Tucson, from the Warden on down, refuses to allow us to celebrate our history. Not one memo, not one event, nothing is scheduled to celebrate our history, and I can’t help but reflect back to that day where a Caucasian SIS officer (Special Investigative Services) had the audacity to tell me, to my face, “What makes you think you DESERVE to celebrate Black History Month”?

What we are seeing is a stripping not only of Black History, but of identity as well. Prisons are mandated to help rehabilitate people, and one way to do that is to reinforce their identity. There is a certain level of pride that each individual gets when he or she knows that they are part of a greater group of people. I speak as an African American, but this also applies to every other nationality, from Native Americans to Mexican Americans to even Caucasians. When prisons strip us of an identity, it makes them similar to how slaves were treated in our American history.

The slaves brought to America came with nothing, and were systematically stripped of everything they once were, and degraded to a level of inhumanity that surely is an abomination to God. Has much changed in 2024, when prisons continue to practice slave tactics?

In that year we didn’t have Black History Month, I was upset at this, and began to do what I always do… write. I wrote essays about how staff deliberately sabotaged Black History Month, and intended to mail them to the outside world.

But a Caucasian staff member in Education read my works, and refused to allow me to have them back, after I had printed them. She called them “inappropriate.” I questioned her as to why I cannot have my works, which actually I have a right to have.

Her first answer was, “Well, I was with (the staff member), and you don’t know what you’re talking about”-

Wait! I am the SECRETARY of the Black History Month Committee!! I keep ALL the notes! How is this Caucasian woman going to tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about?? At this point, I was already getting angry at how I am being challenged of my First Amendment right about MY history.

Her second excuse was that I can’t have it back because I made multiple copies. This too, was bogus, because even though the general body of the letter was the same, it was very clear at the top of each copy who I was sending it to. Her argument was based on that you could not make exact, identical copies at the same time – I had every right to make three copies if they are going to three different entities.

Her third argument was, “If you want to write a grievance, you can get a BP”. This also was a lie, and what she now was doing was curbing my right to the First Amendment, shifting me to use a VERY flawed grievance procedure. What she was doing was quite illegal.

So, upset, I went back and wrote a new essay, “Is (staff member) Breaking The Law?”. I used Federal Bureau of Prisons policies, legal cases and other resources to prove, without a doubt, that this Caucasian officer was intentionally blocking me from sending these letters out.

When she read my essay, she called for backup, and the SIS officer came, took me out to the hallway and threatened to put me in the SHU (Special Housing Unit). He said, “I know how to play this game”, and then, as I tried to make my case, he said the quote I started this essay with.

My answer to this Caucasian man… “I don’t think a white man can tell a Black man, who has been the Secretary of the Black History Month Committee the last three years anything about his history”.

To this man, and to many Caucasian officers here at USP Tucson, we don’t “deserve” to celebrate our history; we don’t “deserve” to have an identity. Yet, they are quick to take vacation on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday.

The last several years here at USP Tucson, the Warden has blocked attempts for us to celebrate our history. Even now, as we came off a malicious and retaliatory 36-day lockdown, after refusing to give us stamps to mail our loved ones, after filthy showers, after feeding us spoiled peanut butter, after limiting our phone calls to a single five minute call a day, after at least three deaths due to medical neglect, and as many homicides – staff here at USP Tucson will not relent in their treatment of human beings in this prison.

It’s not just Black History they are stripping from us . . . it’s humanity they are stripping from everyone. When prisons refuse to acknowledge the captives as human beings, when they ignore the simple basics of human kindness, when they condone illegal acts done by staff, and do nothing about it, they have transported the entire environment backwards two hundred years.

It’s funny, that incident with the Caucasian officer in Education and the SIS officer happened, as I write this, about 5 years ago… those officers still work here. They were never punished in any shape or form for their prejudiced views. I however, was put in the SHU for 40 days, then found guilty of a bogus charge. It took me at least six months to appeal to eventually have that charge expunged, based off simple information that, if the Caucasian Disciplinary Officer had read, she would have thrown the charge out. But after my appeal to her during my hearing, she said to me:

“I just don’t believe she would lie to me”.

So, because I’m Black, and a prisoner, I lose the argument simply because my opponent is a Caucasian female that is a staff member. My level of equality as a human being is stripped, because my status as an prisoner is inferior.

We won’t celebrate Black History Month here at USP Tucson, because staff apparently don’t believe we “deserve” it. So, I’ll celebrate it for everyone here, and refuse to let this prison strip me of my humanity. That makes them less of a human than me.


MIM(Prisons) responds:Understanding history is about understanding where we came from and where we are going. This is the real power of history that the oppressor has tried to keep from the oppressed for hundreds of years. The system is happy to promote an identity for prisoners – one of people who are not deserving, of people with less rights, of people who are less intelligent. There are many identities we can take on, positive and negative. We do not promote a “white identity” because that is the identity of an oppressor. As communists we identify with the Third World proletariat – that is the revolutionary class of people under imperialism that offers solutions and a path from oppression.

chain
[Prison Labor] [ULK Issue 85]
expand

Info on Firms Fighting Prison Slavery

In my opinion, ULK 84 was the best issue I have ever seen in my years of getting the newsletter. In response to “On Tennessee Bans Slavery - So What?”: While I agree voting has poor success it is a start on the process and can help create awareness among the sheeple.

Corruptaradans(as we call the sheeple of this corrupt state) changed the Colorado constitution to ban all slavery. But the Dept of Corruption ignored the will of the people (I am shocked!) and said it did not apply to prisoner slaves.

However, two law firms joined forces and filed an action in Denver Dist Court to demand minimum wage for prisoners’ work (case no: 2022CV30421). The firms are:

Towards Justice
P.O. Box 371680
P111B 44465
Denver, CO 80237
720-441-2236

Maxted Law
1543 Champa St, St 400
Denver, CO 80202
www.maxtedlaw.com
720-717-0877

Around the country more than 65 groups have joined the fight to take prisoner slavery is just peachy out of the U.$. Constitution. For a list of these, contact:

Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
120 Broadway Ste. 1750
New York, NY 10271
chain
[Abuse] [Mental Health] [Iron County Jail] [Utah]
expand

Denied Mental Health Care and Retaliated Against in Utah

I would like to share a story with you about a recent experience I had here at Iron County Jail in Utah. I was recently moved, very much against my will, from the housing unit where I have spent most of my time at in Iron County Jail. In that unit, I had a good routine going and good friends who were a positive influence on me. Well the pigs, unable to stand the sight of a happy prisoner, took a wrecking ball to it.

This caused me to have a severe anxiety attack, which then caused me to make statements that got me put on suicide watch. As bad as this place is in general, the suicide watch protocols are absolutely draconian. On suicide watch we are given only a “turtle suit” to wear, are fed special sack meals that fall well short of nutrition and calorie requirements and are left to sleep on the cement floor in a cell almost as cold as a walk-in refrigerator. While I was down there, there was a girl who was brought up on warrants who was so distraught that she was also put on suicide watch. While she was in her cell bawling her eyes out, one of the pigs, a fat punk named Smith, walked up to her window, stood there for about 15 seconds staring at her, then walked away with a smug smirk on his fat face. How can someone enjoy that?

These pigs are truly evil, twisted, sadistic, sick fucks! They belong in here, not us! After she had calmed down some, I explained to her briefly the steps she must go through to file a lawsuit. Boy did that piss the pigs off! :) The next day the mental health therapist came to interview the people on suicide watch to determine if they could be cleared or not. The therapist was permitted to see the girl and another guy who had gone on the watch later. But when he asked about me, the medical pig Mitchell told him, “we’re letting him chill for a while,” and sent the therapist away.

I then told Sgt. McNeil that I was being denied access to mental health care and they were illegally using the suicide watch as a disciplinary tool and that I wanted a grievance form. Sgt. McNeil immediately began lying, saying that the therapist didn’t have time to see me! Horse feathers! The therapist asked to see me! This was not the first time McNeil has lied to me. One time he tried to tell me I’m not entitled to legal calls, another time he tried to tell me there is “tons of case law” that says he can open and read my privileged legal mail! This happened on Friday and the therapist didn’t return to see me until Tuesday. I spent a total of six days on suicide watch when I should have spent less than two.

Six days in the turtle suit in a freezing cold cell with no bed, no hygiene supplies, no shower, and very little food, all because the pigs want to retaliate against me because I stick up for myself and encourage others to do the same. Best believe when I got back to my cell, I filed that grievance with a quickness! I haven’t gotten a response yet, but what I did get was two retaliatory disciplinary write ups! One for “manipulation of housing and threats of self mutilation” for simply saying that I was feeling suicidal during an anxiety attack and another for “refusing or failing to follow a direct order and unauthorized communication with inmates outside your housing unit” because I asked prisoners in booking to tell my wife I love her and telling that girl how to sue these pigs.

I will write you again to let you know how the grievance pans out. These two frivolous and blatantly retaliatory write ups will likely land me on punitive isolation for 30-60 days each, so I’ll have plenty of time to pursue it. Please keep Under Lock & Key coming and I will continue to share it with anyone who is interested. Thank you for all that you do for us!

[This story came to us on 5 postcards because prisoners at Iron County Jail cannot send or receive any envelopes other than privileged legal mail. Letters that don’t qualify as legal mail must be written on plain postcards like this comrade sent us.]

chain
[Civil Liberties] [Legal] [Alaska]
expand

Stop Due Process Violations In Alaska

Due Process

I have been doing time in Alaska off and on since 2004. I’ve seen all the dirty tricks the crooked C.O.’s use to violate our constitutional rights. I’ve seen one generation of crooked cops hand down their dirty tricks to the next. I see them violate our rights to the point prisoners don’t know their rights are being violated. As Hitler said, “if you tell a big enough lie often enough people will believe it…” It’s time we stand up and take our rights back. The two biggest Due Process violations are the failure to have witnesses physically present at the disciplinary hearing and the failure to permit requested evidence in the accused favor.

It is the law in the 9th circuit that witnesses must appear at a prisoners disciplinary hearing, (Bartholomew v. Watson, 665 F.2d 915, 917-18 (9th Cir. 1982)). And that they may not use interviews to substitute for live witnesses (Mitchell v. Dupnik, 75 F.3d 517, 525-26 (9th Cir. 1996). The blanket denial of live witnesses is impermissible, exclusions must be justified individually (Serrano v. Francis, 345 F.3d 1071, 1079-80 (9th Cir. 2003)).

However, in the past 20 years the Alaska Department of Corrections (AKDOC) has denied all live/physically present witnesses other than the crooked cops themselves! In the face of clearly established Constitutional law the crooked cops only permit written interviews of our witnesses. The answer we get most often is, “that’s just not how we do things.” When or if we appeal, our appeal on this point is denied without reason.

Instead of throwing our hands up in hopeless despair, I encourage you to file your administrative appeal with the court after you exhaust your appeals with the AKDOC. There was an attorney who retired about 7 years ago, Jon Buckholtt, who would do administrative appeals for prisoners, about 100 per year. Cases have been reversed and then expunged on this point alone.

I also would encourage you to contact your local ACLU and/or file a §1983 civil rights claim. Take back your rights!

chain