I just want to thank you for teaching me so much in so short an amount of time. My main studies are case law, criminal law, penal codes, and important stuff like that. But about 6 months ago I ran across your ad in the Inmate Shopper and contacted you. At first I had a hard time seeing the big picture because it was difficult reading your literature being that I'm white (Irish/German/Dutch/Italian) and when you refer to the enemy or the oppressor it's always the white privileged class or the white supremacy who rules over the lower class and enslaves them mentally and physically and financially.
At first I was offended because you're saying that there needs to be a revolution to overthrow this imperialist nation, and I'm thinking "wait a minute, these are my people they're talking about, this is some racist ass bullshit here." But the more I read your newsletters the more I can see your point, and relate to your view. I've always been of the lower class, poor, and disadvantaged. Once I started going to jail and prison it really became evident that I was some kind of slave to the system, and there was a supreme group of people who ultimately called all the shots, ran the government, waged the wars, ran all the major corporations, and the list goes on. I was looked down on by these people; they might be white but they ain't my people, the cops, the sheriff, the judge, the DA, the Illuminati, etc.
Reading your newsletters helps me understand who they are and what they have been doing, where I stand in all of this, where this country came from, who runs it, where it's going, and what's gonna happen to us if we don't band together and do something about it.
Anyways, I'm new in all this and still just soaking it up. Thank you, and keep the newsletters coming, I really appreciate it and I will pass them on to others who are politically motivated, some Black, Chican@, white, and Asian.
MIM(Prisons) responds: We're always happy to hear from folks like this reader who can get past their own white identity to see the oppressive system of imperialism for what it is. When we talk about the predominantly-white nation of Amerikkka as an oppressor nation, that doesn't mean all whites are excluded from the revolutionary movement. Or that we think whites face no oppression. Rather we are discussing a system-wide condition with one nation in power, and that power benefiting all from that nation, including the poorest people. And so even if the benefits don't include being a millionaire, white people as a whole have a material interest in maintaining imperialism. Still, many white folks can take a stand against oppression of all kinds. These folks essentially go against their national interests to join up with the revolutionary movement. And we welcome them!
In response to "CALIFORNIA: Challenges and Reports" (in ULK 56), the comrade/s at MDF, Contra Costa County Jail being hit with gang enhancements and other unjust treatment. Faulty gang allegations was a major error in my trial as a southern Chican@, hence my return on appeal, which also made case law (Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3, California. The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Jerry RAMIREZ and Catherine Rodriguez Villarreal, Defendants and Appellants. G052144 Decided: February 05, 2016). I hope this can be of assistance. Should be in the lexus by now but is also attainable via internet. They have been trying to turn our culture into a crime for the last 500+ years. It's going to take a lot more than a STEP act to get rid of us. In commemoration of "Black August" and the "Plan de San Diego", I send mine to all comrades North, South, East and West.
I just finished re-reading in ULK 53 page 12 "Texas Reform Updates." It sufficiently raised my ire enough to put pen to paper and submit my 14-page memorandum which I had the balls to place into the "Head Warden's" hand personally. I enclosed a copy of the same with this letter.
As a result of that act, 90 minutes later I had a member of the Law Library staff in my cell going through my legal paperwork, devoid of the prerequisite authorization (I-186) of a Warden to do so. Whereas, other copies of my own writings — which I sent out, had duplicated, and returned via the U.S. Postal Service — were filched and used to administer a disciplinary case claiming additional fictitious contraband.
This memorandum outlines in detail how the law library (L/L) is run "out of compliance" with BP-03.81, ATC 020, 030, 050 and the Offender Orientation Handbook (I-202).
Among other things, participants of the L/L, i.e. prisoners, are disallowed the right to vocally interact in assisting each other in legal matters.
Since that fateful day, harassment and retaliation in the L/L has steadily intensified. Not being one to take this illicit conduct, I have sent a copy (oh, about eight of 'em) to various entities akin to "60 Minutes," Texas Attorney General, Texas Governor, Access to Courts (ATC) Administrator, Houston Chronicle and other prisoner-assisting organizations.
A multitude of the L/L patrons had no idea the actual truth of how a TDCJ L/L is intended to be operated and run. The staff are actually obligated to facilitate us (prisoners) in assisting one another in legal matters. Not harassing us for spreading the litigious knowledge — as per the ATC Rules.
I have several Step 2s [grievances] under review and am just awaiting their return so I can initiate State Tort action, because the Federal Courts do not have jurisdiction to make the State of Texas follow their own laws and rules. Only the State can make the State conform to its own rules.
If you think that I'm pissed, you're right! After all, I am convicted wrongfully, and wrongfully convicted in this pissant of a state. Being former military, I do not give in. I will prevail(!!) in getting things straightened out and being exonerated. In the course of accomplishing that, I will altruistically get the L/L in this POS unit to come into compliance with the legislatures' intent and the Board Policies intents too.
Other prisoners in Texas I am certain will have use for my memorandum. Go ahead and offer it up. If we prisoners in TDCJ don't start pulling together we are destined to end up fucked off. Expose these people for what they are!
MIM(Prisons) responds: TDCJ's long-term goal seems to be to hide all relevant policies from the people who are interested in them most, and then just operate its facilities however it pleases. That's why we created the Texas Campaign Pack, and why this comrade sent us eir memorandum to the Warden. If the state won't provide this information, we have to do it ourselves. Send in $2.50 to get the Texas Pack.
Exposure and lawsuits are worthwhile approaches, but can't be our be-all-end-all. We fight to not only get the law library back in compliance, but to change society to the point where these problems are no longer possible. We want oppression to become obsolete, and we want oppressed people to have the power to make this a reality!
El 13 de Junio, La República Popular Democrática de Corea (RPDC) liberaron a un estudiante Amerikano, Otto Warmbier, quien estuvo encarcelado allí por 15 meses. El estudiante llegó a casa en coma y murió pocos días después. Según los oficiales Coreanos, Warmbier había estado en coma poco después de ser arrestado, debido a complicaciones causado por botulismo, una condición que se puede contraer por medio de comida, agua o tierra contaminada. Es posible que el encarcelamiento de Warmbier solamente haya sido un acto político para el gobierno del RPDC. Estuvo condenado por robar un cartel de propaganda.
Lo inusual de Warmbier es que era un güero adinerado y joven, disfrutando el privilegio de su riqueza y su ciudadanía Amerikana yendo a una aventura divertida al visitar Corea del Norte. En su mayor parte, Amerika busca encarcelar a los lumpen de naciones oprimidas y a los no documentados, y también a la gente que lucha contra el imperialismo. Entonces, en este país no hay mucha posibilidad que Warmbier terminara en prisión.
Después de la muerte de Warmbier hubo un clamor de crítica contra el gobierno del RPDC, con Trump atacando la "brutalidad del régimen de Corea del Norte." Esta crítica viene de la misma gente que se queda callada con respecto a las condiciones que causan muerte regularmente en prisiones Amerikanas. Los prisioneros se enferman regularmente por condiciones que incluye insuficiente comida o también comida contaminada(1), moho(2), toxinas y otros riesgos ambiental en prisiones viejas y sucias (3) agua contaminada (4) niveles de calor inseguro(5) y asistencia médica inadecuado, incompetente y deliberadamente negligente. (6) Más, esto sólo es la lista del abuso por "negligencia." Mientras tanto, más de 100,000 prisioneros son torturados a diario en prisiones de los Estados Unidos (7) y algunos prisioneros importantes y activos políticamente han terminado muertos.(8)
Paralelo al caso en Corea, las prisiones Amerikanas tienen muchos indocumentados (9), especialmente de México y Centroamérica, encarcelados por cargos pequeños o falsos. Esta gente quiere regresar a sus países, casas y familias. Algunos no hablan Inglés y entonces no pueden luchar por sus derechos. Algunos fueron engañados para declararse culpables sin entender de verdad el juicio. Y algunos de estos prisioneros terminarán severamente enfermos o también muertos debido a las condiciones dentro de prisiones Amerikanas.(10)
Nosotros no esperamos que los nacionalistas blancos ofrezcan una crítica sobre la "brutalidad del régimen amerikano" por todos estos crímenes hechos a prisioneros mantenidos detrás de las barras en este país. Debería ser una vergüenza para los Amerikanos que los Estados Unidos encierran personas a una velocidad mayor que cualquier otro país en el mundo. Pero se oculta este sistema de control social, mientras los perdonadores del imperialismo hipócritamente critican el RPDC (y otros países) por su tratamiento a un prisionero Amerikano.
MIM(Prisiones) lucha para poner un fin al sistema en que las prisiones son lugares donde la gente va para sufrir y morir prematuramente.
Soy un ciudadañ@ Mexican@ criado en las formas viejas de hacer negocios. Nuestra palabra siempre era buena hasta nuestro último respiro. En la política de la prisión y la política mexicana la palabra no tiene significado. (Díganle eso al buen tío Colocio, quien pago con su vida por creer en la palabra de alguien más.)
Bueno, después de 20 años en la línea principal, mejor conocida como pabellones activos, yo hice la transición a un pabellón SNY. Aquí, encontré muchos [email protected] (p.e. [email protected] que hicieron la transición hace años y hasta décadas.)
Afortunadamente, escapé a la lavada de cerebro a la que mis [email protected][email protected] están expuestos en las escuelas y los barrios. Así que yo renuncié y me vine al mundo bizarro. Encontré que muchos de mis nuevos camaradas, no tienen ninguna clase de conciencia política. Una y otra vez ellos declinaron mis intentos de leer algo de mis libros. No me escapó de mi mente que alguna vez yo también fui así. Me tomó años despertar a la cruel realidad de mi encarcelamiento.
De cualquier manera mi primer compañero de celda fue un hombre blanco. Y descubrí lo que siempre supe en teoría. Que todos somos ignorantes, pobres, y condenados. (Sin importar el color de la piel, credo, o afiliación de pandilla). Por razones que no son pertinentes a este ensayo, mi nuevo compañero solo duró conmigo menos de 24 horas en la celda. Aun así, en mi dejó una profunda impresión. El me dijo que en la línea, su líder de la pandilla le mandó pegar (p.ej. apuntalar) por una deuda de $50 dólares de vino hecho en prisión. Así que él tuvo que asumir la posición y permitir que su querid@ compañer@ lo apuñalara. (Su compañero le quedaban unos cuantos meses para irse a su casa.) Así es cuán fuera de control están las pandillas.
Para que el lector sepa: el Mexican@ común y corriente no pertenece a carteles o gangas de la prisión y de las calles. La mayoría de los prisioneros Mexicanos no saben de la avalancha de política de prisión que se les viene encima. Sin vergüenza, puedo decir que si mi consejer@ me hubiera dicho del papel que me esperaba jugar en una yarda activa, yo me hubiera salido de allí inmediatamente. No estaba escrito así, y fui atrapado en un sistema fallido de rehabilitación.
Fui inmediatamente clasificado como un "parsa" o "herman@ de la frontera." Este "STG" (grupo de amenaza y seguridad) está bajo las ordenes de los sureños (una ganga de prisión) para hacer apuntaladas, y seguir órdenes.
Lo que no sabe el Mexicano, es que todos estos incidentes violentos pueden ser usados por el panel de audiencias de libertad (BPH). Dios no permita, que uno tenga un apuntalamiento a hace diez años. Ellos literalmente actúan la parte de estar sorprendidos que esta clase de cosas pasen en prisión. Hasta un reporte de una manzana robada será usado para decir que somos un peligro para la comunidad libre. Estos académicos de verdad creen que estos "gulags" son "centros" de alta rehabilitación. ¡Y que un@ insiste en comportarse mal!
Mi nuevo compañero es un viejo Mexicano. El es respetuoso y sabe cómo hacer tiempo. El también renunció, cuando descubrió los cambios del viento en el aire. Y antes de que las cosas se pusieran peor, le hizo la mejor decisión de su vida. Se convirtió en un SNY más. El medio ambiente, aquí está más suelto. El viejo de la ganga se terminó. Yo no he visto actos predatorios en contra de aquellos que son muy débiles, para defenderse. Luego están aquellos que actúan como verdaderos – "PC" en custodia protectora. Ellos creen que el C/O es su papá, o su hermano mayor. Son escandalosos. Y visten sus pantalones a media nalga. Aun así, el estar hablando con el personal de prisión se puede ver también en la yarda 'C' (p. ej., una yarda activa). Ellos vienen a la oficina del programa y pasan tiempo con ellos. (p. ej. poniéndose cómodos con el enemigo, el opresor).
Yo descubrí, que si me mantengo solo, y cuido solo mis propios negocios, yo puedo volar sin ser detectado. Esto no era posible en una yarda activa, porque se espera que uno haga trabajo para la ganga de la prisión. Las nuevas gangas de la prisión de este lado, estas son reservadas. Y hacen sus peleas sin pedir ayuda. Aquellos, que no queremos envolvernos en las guerras de gangas – se les deja fuera del drama. Yo he hablado con ex-sureños y norteños (viejos y jóvenes), y muchos se describen a sí mismos como Mexicanos nacidos de este lado. Muchos se han dado cuenta que el Mexicano nacional no es su marioneta para ser usada y tirada. Todos ellos están de acuerdo que el haberse convertido en SNY es la mejor decisión que pudieron haber tomado. Sus nuevos líderes son sus familias, patria y raza.
Aquí, ex-jefes y líderes de gangas son nada. No son más que un esclavo entre los miles. Lejos están los días de dinero con sangre, gloria, celulares, y actos egoístas enormes con respecto a la vida y la muerte.
En cuanto a mi transición de un esclavo activo a un "SNY", esta fue fácil. Empaqué mis cosas sin levantar mucha sospecha. Y en la escuela le dije al oficial "que quería salir del pabellón." Ellos me presionaron para decirles lo que sabía acerca de los grandes sapos gordos, y de aquellos que les besan el culo. No tenía nada que decirles. Y aunque hubiera sabido algo, no se las hubiera dicho nada. Ya estoy muy viejo para convertirme en un informante del estado. Así que, no todos los SNYs son informantes. Ya me han dicho que a veces los oficiales amenazan al prisionero con devolverlos al pabellón principal. Pero este no fue mi caso. (Para su información, las oficiales nunca harán eso).
Para aquellos que deje atrás, paren y piensen acerca de esto, por un largo tiempo. ¿De verdad vale la pena el dar la vida haciendo mandados de tonto? Lo que te están mandando a hacer al hijo de alguien más, te lo harán a ti.
Los maestros de la causa perdida de la manipulación, no vale la pena matar y morir por esta. A la fregada sus órdenes, ellos no son nuestros padres, tíos o hermanos mayores. Juegan a ser dios con nuestras vidas y libertad.
Ellas son sociópatas con sed de sangre y con la sangre de nuestros hermanos y hermanas en sus manos. Ellos son el hermano menor del opresor, ellos ayudan al opresor a mantenernos en checkeo. Dale, y diles que ellos mismos hagan los asesinatos. No te pueden exigir que cumplas tu palabra, que diste cuando eras un niño. Tú no sabias acerca de la vida cuando te tentaron a unirte a la ganga. Nunca te dijeron que para cuando cumplieras 15, ibas a estar muerto o viviendo en las gulagas.
Nunca te llevaron a un funeral y te dijeron: "Ese eres tú en unos cuantos años." Ellos nunca te llevaron a las gulagas a visitar aquellos que están sepultados vivos. ¿Si te hubieran dicho que una muerte temprana o vida en prisión era tu futuro? Lo más seguro es que hubieras corrido de volada.
Así que a la edad de 20, 30 y hasta de 60 años, uno debe despertar a la realidad de nuestro predicamento y analizar las contradicciones de nuestra esclavitud. Para que así nos podamos quitar las viejas cadenas que nos unen a una causa perdida. Uno debe de evolucionar y pensar fuera de la caja. Este es el Siglo 21, nuestras familias nos necesitan allá afuera.
MIM(Prisiones) responde: Organizaciones lumpen (LOs) en los E$tados Unidos son generalmente organizaciones de los más marginalizados económicamente de los oprimidos en este país. Donde sea, camaradas han hablado de las diferencias entre la Organización Neo-colonial lumpen (NLO) y los LO. La experiencia del camarada anterior refleja la práctica de los NLO. Pero las LOs, en general, tienen tanto como los aspectos capitalistas como los colectivo/nacionalistas. Y aquellas que aceptan el aspecto colectivo (generalmente, en una forma revolucionaria nacionalista), pueden evolucionar y convertirse en organizaciones políticas de masas (PMOs).(1) Así que, mientras tenemos dificultad con los camaradas en los LOs para que se muevan en dirección de una PMO, la historia anterior es muy común en California, donde SNY ha venido a representar una tercera parte de los prisioneros en años recientes.(2)
Este camarada también toca la pregunta nacional e identidad nacional en Aztlán. El hecho de que aquellos con descendencia Mexicana nacidos dentro de las Estados Unidos y que más bien se identifican como Mexicanos, habla de la contradicción nacional entre el Americano colonizador y el territorio colonizado de Aztlán. Como este camarada también reconoce, nosotros nos referimos a aquellos nacidos al norte de la frontera los U.S./México, como [email protected].
Este reconocimiento de la nación Chican@ profundamente conectada a, pero separada de México, fue el resultado de la lucha de revolucionarios nacionalistas y comunistas de los 1960s, que organizaron a la raza en el Suroeste. Para aquellos que estén interesados en este tema, deberían revisar Chican@ Power y La Lucha por Aztlán, del grupo de estudio de MIM(Prisiones). Este libro está disponible para los prisioneros por $10, o a cambio de trabajo.
Laud and honor the martyrs! Even those who weren't warriors.
The unconscious brother enjoys a guilty comfort.
Not from inheritance, but rather he lives in a First World
Settled by invaders and tomb raiders, capitalist traders
raping the earth. Governments promise prosperity if only
you kneel. Can Third World tragedies find any appeal?
Or does bourgeois culture supply you with unlimited hope?
Like oppression, crime and dope. Faith in religion tickles
your conscience but that doesn't make it science.
We struggle together: The People - equal. The chains of
slavery rattle like tambourines to a new upheaval.
So laud and honor the martyrs! Even those who weren't warriors.
Flies swarm around the dung of capitalism, invoking disgust
at its chauvanisms and material greed.
Don't be part of the problem.
Through the eye of the media, one can't help but see and understand the agendas being put forth. First look at how the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear program is being covered with emotionally-driven and fear-inspiring news coverage. In comparison to the cold war period in the United States, where that was solely ideological war due to it being two white global superpowers with different political identities the nuclear issue wasn't syndicated by news on the level that North Korea's nuclear program has been. The United States and all major countries of European descent have done everything in their collective power to keep these weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of nations, governments and people of color or hue. This is about dominance over every country in the world or simply put, 'might makes right' ideology.
Just look at what happened when Iran was building a nuke. How much these European governments were willing to do and in fact pay so that these Middle Easterners would not have the same power of destruction that they themselves wield, and the United States alone has used, on people of color.
These global white supremacists have done everything they could to destabilize nations' governments that they could not control by creating borders on foreign continents, setting up puppet governments (often dictators the likes of Saddam Hussein and Benjamin Netanyahu who use war as a distraction of their individual greed), support contras by the sales of cocaine on the streets of their own country, in which they've colonized other peoples. Gangstering all less technologically-savvy nations out of raw materials, such as petroleum, gold, silver, diamonds, chocolate, opium, uranium, spices, sugar, and factory workers who they pay slave wages. They then turn around and use this wealth to build factories in their home countries and pay their own citizens the going wages.
I say equal power is equal defense, which entitles all nations the same kind of weapons including nuclear bombs if that's what you could be faced with. These global white supremacists only respect those who can present an equal threat. History has proven these whites are the makers and users of weapons of mass destruction, from muskets, rifles, guns, machine guns, grenades, C-4, chemical gases, dirty bombs, hydrogen and nuclear bombs. They've created viruses, diseases, tortures. Yet the media is far more dangerous than any of the ones before mentioned, due to its ability to influence the minds of those not fully conscious of the reality of being controlled by the designers of this Global White Supremacy Agenda.
MIM(Prisons) adds: In July, August and September the Democratic People's Republic of Korea launched a series of nuclear missile tests. The DPRK reports it has developed a more advanced hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM).(1) They've also reported that their ICBMs can now reach the mainland of the United $tates. Meanwhile, the United $tates has launched recent tests of their B61-12, a bomb that delivers nuclear weapons by fighter jet.(2) The United $tates and Russia still have far more nuclear warheads than other countries, almost 100 times the number of what the DPRK has.(3)
People who grew up during the cold war lived in a culture of fear of a nuclear attack. So we do not agree that the threat was ignored during that period because it was "white" countries involved. If anything, we'd argue that we've grown too comfortable with the risk of nuclear disaster that these weapons continue to put us in since the collapse of the social-imperialist Soviet Union. And this cold war was also an imperialist reaction to potential resistance. Although the Soviet Union gave up socialism and turned to state capitalism in the 1950s, the United $tates held on to the anti-communist fear. Socialism in the Soviet Union (and China, and other countries) was a significant threat to imperialism, and so the United $tates prepared for a war to defend their wealth and dominance.
Otherwise, we agree with the author above on the hypocrisies of the imperialists. Militarism is integral to the economic success of the imperialist countries. The DPRK has never used its military to gain wealth by exploiting or stealing from other nations. Rather it sacrifices resources from its isolated economy to ensure it can militarily protect itself from imperialists who would otherwise use their weapons against the Korean people to gain access to the labor and markets that the DPRK government denies them. The leverage of nuclear weapons decreases the need to mobilize the able-bodied population into military maneuvers in response to U.$. operations on its border. There are two massive military exercises led by the United $tates on the Korean peninsula each year. One, Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, occurs in August when it is harvest season.(4) The other, Foal Eagle, occurs in the spring, often overlapping with the planting season in the northern hemisphere.(5) By increasing the technological capacity of its military, the DPRK allows for more labor time to be dedicated to agricultural production and better protects its food supply. Because of sanctions, the DPRK cannot rely on importing food from other countries when harvests are short. In other words, these new developments are a logical product of the U.$. imperialists' stranglehold on the DPRK through economic sanctions and massive military provocations.
High Desert State Prison (HDSP), the largest prison in Nevada, housing some 3,500 inmates, has been on total lockdown for 4 days, and will remain so for at least two more weeks. This means that we will receive no yard, tier, phone, canteen, or access to any reading material.
Why is HDSP on lockdown? Because in a single week there was two "staff" assaults, and at least 8 fights.
But the pigs are doing nothing to investigate the cause of the violence. For example, that the temperature of the cells was reaching at least 90 degrees. While we have no cold water to drink, and are forced to be housed with individuals we do not get along with for up to 21 hours a day. And there is nothing for us to do: no programs, work, games, etc. We are literally trapped in cages like animals.
So how does HDSP deal with the violence? They enhance the inhumane and deplorable conditions by locking us down. Most of us do not have televisions, and with no access to any library we sit in a cell and twiddle our thumbs.
Violence and anger can only be expected as a result of such conditions. However, comrades, we must recognize that we do not win when we direct this anger and frustration towards each other.
Our focus must be on targeting the administrative policies which are responsible for our current state of existence. There is already a grievance campaign underway challenging OP516, the level system. And
comrades from the United Struggle from Within in Nevada just started a new grievance campaign in regards to AR801.
AR801 is a programs AR that states that Ad-Seg is to receive a minimum of 3 hours out of their cell, and closed custody inmates are to get a minimum of 5 hours out of their cells per day. This same AR lists a ton of programs which are approved by the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC).
The bottom line comrades, HDSP under Warden Williams has failed to implement any rehabilitative programs. The violence, anger and frustration is his and his administration's fault.
We must heed the USW call for peace and unity and challenge the administration's policies. We need all of you to file grievances challenging these policies. But even more important, we need you to have
your family and friends to call the office of the director and ask why HDSP prisoners are being denied all access to rehabilitative programs, school, and work. Have them call 702-486-9938 and complain.
Until then, comrades, do not allow your anger and frustrations with the pigs to be misdirected toward one another.
MIM(Prisons) responds: The United Struggle from Within comrades in Nevada are doing solid work organizing and educating folks in that state. They have set a good example of initiating targeted campaigns that could improve the lives of many prisoners. This is a good way to get folks participating in the struggle in a concrete way. But we must remember to tie these battles to the broader struggle against the criminal injustice system, and imperialism.
If we don't make these connections, we are misleading people, letting them think that these campaigns alone are all that is needed to change the system. And we know that's not true! We know the injustice system won't be reformed into a system of justice. It is rotten to the core because it is serving imperialism, which exists off the oppression and exploitation of entire nations of people. The wealth and power of the imperialists and even the "middle classes" is not something those folks will give up without a fight.
Let's follow the example of the Nevada USW comrades, and build important campaigns relevant to each prison and state. And always keep our work in the context of the anti-imperialist struggle.
19 August 2017 — Hundreds rallied outside the White House today for the "Millions for Prisoners' Human Rights March." The event was organized by U.$. prisoners and outside groups to focus on the issue of the 13th Amendment, which allows for the slavery of convicted felons in the United $tates. During the march to the White House, the most common signs were: "Abolish Mass Incarceration", "End Racist Prison Slavery" and Industrial Workers of the World membership cards. The latter were hard to read for the casual observer and did not reinforce the message of the march. There was one red, black and green flag, and representatives of the Republic of New Afrika in attendance.
While more than half of the participants were local, people from many states were in attendance, including New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, California and even Alaska. The crowd was a mix of movement elders, formerly incarcerated people, self-described "socialist" organizations and many youth for whom this was their first participation in the prison movement.
Last weekend's neo-nazi march, and murder of a young womyn, in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia was a motivator for a number of people to come out today. Some were there because of prisoners who had told them about the rally and asked them to participate. On the one hand this demonstrates the ability of prisoners to provide leadership to people on the outside. But these people were reachable by prisoners because they were involved in the movement already and the misnamed "Millions" for Prisoners rally proved the goals of the organizers to be a bit loftier than what was achieved.
In contrast to the hundreds in D.C., the so-called "Free Speech" rally in Boston today brought out tens of thousands of counter-demonstrators. Of course, they had the benefit of free advertising from all of the corporate news networks. The sight of hundreds of torch-wielding white men marching, chanting Nazi slogans, last weekend was rightfully jarring to many. Yet, innocent Black and Brown men are much more likely to die at the hands of the police or prison guards at this time than at the hands of a neo-nazi (that isn't employed by the state).
"Prisoner Lives Matter!" was one chant that rang true in D.C. For if there is any group whose lives are at risk, and whose unnecessary deaths receive little attention, in this country more than New Afrikan people in general, it is prisoners.
People at the march reported that some prisons had visiting shut down or were on lockdown today to prevent any group demonstrations on the inside. This is another example of why MIM(Prisons) thinks the First Amendment is a more important battle front than the Thirteenth. Just the idea that prisoners might organize a protest is enough to trigger state repression. Organized prisoners are the lynch-pin to a meaningful prison movement, so the right to organize must be at the forefront.
When this correspondent asked participants what the most important issue in the prison movement was, many weren't sure because they were new to it. Many had a hard time picking just one issue because there are so many things wrong with the U.$. injustice system. But the one response that was more popular than ending slavery in prisons, was the disproportionate arrest, sentencing, imprisonment and mistreatment of oppressed nations. While almost always phrased as "race" or "people of color", it does seem that the national contradiction is at the heart of what people see as wrong with prisons in the United $tates. Even the focus on the 13th Amendment was regularly tied to the history of slavery of New Afrikans by speakers. One speaker called prisons the "new plantation", which is true in that they were both institutions to control the New Afrikan semi-colony. But one was an economic powerhouse fueling global imperialism, while the other is a money pit that the prison movement aims to make a liability to the imperialists.
Perhaps an even bigger distinction was in the answers given by recently imprisoned people. Their focus was on their struggles upon release and the needs of those recently released. One New Afrikan man talked about his mother dying while he was in prison and him not even knowing at first. He got the news in such a callous way he didn't even believe it at first. To this day he has not figured out where his mother's body is. Yet he has been out of prison for two years and is already working for the mayor's office providing release support and doing motivational speaking.
It is a good thing that the state is doing more to provide services to recently-released prisoners. But we still need programs for those who dedicate themselves to changing the system. The state can't provide that. And it can't serve self-determination for the oppressed. There is much work to be done to build bridges to revolutionary political organizing for comrades being released all over the country. And ultimately, as the state knows and demonstrates, the only successful release programs are those that are led and run by releasees themselves.
Contra Costa County Martinez Detention Facility (A) module is a General Population (GP) setting that houses northern Hispanics and African American prisoners. The prejudiced treatment of hispanics who are classified on (A) is a continuous issue and the rules seem to bend for us. As a result of an incident in 2011, we were separated from all other GP races. This continues today although we can program in all other GP modules. In 2012, we were subject to lockdown style program of 3 hours free time a week, no bible study, etc. This lasted up until 2015. Note that none of us were even involved in violating Title 15 §1083, yet were treated as we if we were in fights even straight from intake.
We on (A) live amongst GP African American prisoners, as well as others, and other hispanics. Yet we are still "Administrative Separation"(Ad-Sep). We seek an integration process to all other GP units, including the other jail (Contra Costa County - West Detention (WCDF)), which is for less serious offenders and offers more opportunities, programs and privileges. We acknowledge current overcrowding issues. However, there is no reason why us GP prisoners are deprived of those same opportunities: vocational, parenting, etc. Especially those who qualify for such housing. Being deprived of such opportunities is a punishment, which is the underlying issue here. We've been battling administration through verbal and written remedies to no avail. Our valid requests and grievances go nowhere, don't reach the chain of command, are ignored, we are given inadequate responses, and denied appeal rights. Even when attempting to follow policy regarding grievances it falls on deaf ears.
Another thing we seek to battle is the biased intake process, where we are left on (2) intake/disciplinary mod for unreasonable amounts of time without write-up, hearing, or a procedural due process.
As of 4 August 2017, approximately 72 inmates are on hunger strike due to these injustices. The following are the demands turned in to the administration:
We've been seeking just treatment through verbal and written remedies to no avail. This does not get us nowhere. We will be boycotting such prejudicial treatment. Following are more than fair demands that are not out of reach to administration and just according to inmate rights:
1) Cease Ad-Sep label: Equal treatment to those who've not committed any infractions within the jail. Non-existent Ad-Sep label creates a negative aura which pursues us all the way to our cases. We're forced to leave (A) in shackles giving negative impressions in court, lobby visits, etc. Ad-Sep does not exist in Title 15 and inmate handbook. No one asked for Ad-Sep, Ad-Seg, or special housing during intake process. We are GP, should be treated and labeled as such. Just like (B) and (C) inmates who've not broken any rules. Cease punishment violating T.15 §1083(c) over 2011 incident, cease Ad-Sep label because of a bad environment created by classification affecting us in our case.
2) Start process of integration to all GP units including WCDF. If this is not immediately possible there is no reason why we can't receive access to all other programs available in those parts of the jail, such as vocational, parenting, etc. Those who qualify for WCDF should receive opportunities. To deny such opportunities is to bestow a punishment we don't have coming, which is the underlying issue here.
3) Create adequate grievance process, following policy, and chains of command when there is in fact a valid grievance. Provide appeal rights that are denied and give adequate responses.
4) Cease biased intake process where inmates destined for (A) are left on (Q) for unreasonable amounts of time deprived of GP setting and privileges without write-up, hearing, creating negligent meal service by having PCs serve food. You make room for those punished from other mods, you can make room for those without any type of infractions.
Note: We have set forth reasonable and realistic requests and grievances. In a nutshell we simply wish to cease biased treatment and be treated like all other GP inmates. We acknowledge overcrowding problems regarding housing circumstances. However, we should not be denied access to those programs and opportunities. We are separated/segregated from other races unnecessarily. As well as treated with prejudice from setting foot in intake to court.
Title 15 §1083(c)4019.5 "Punishment to inmate/group over others actions" (2011 incident)
14th Amendment "equal protection of the law" - cannot treat inmates differently than others without reason (race is not a valid reason)
Title 15 §1053 Ad-Seg (not fitting criteria)
8th Amendment "Due process procedural rights" (violated)
We support these comrades' just demands, which ally with ongoing campaigns to end long-term isolation as well as to provide proper avenues for having grievances heard. As the comrades point out that this treatment based on supposed affiliation with people who did things before they were even in this jail is an obvious violation of basic civil rights and just treatment. We work to build the anti-imperialist movement so that we can replace the current system with a just one.