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[Economics]
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Response to Lumpen Class calculations

[Need to insert url below. for some reason prisoncensorship.info wasn't loading for me so couldn't pull it up.

I'm not sure this adequately addresses the writer's complaints but re-reading the lumpen class article I don't really get what they are criticizing because we never say that we defined the lumpen using the poverty line. Mostly they seem upset that we don't recognize that some full time workers who earn around $10k really have it hard and that's not enough to pay for their basic necessities. i.e. not exploited, but also life in amerika is so expensive they can't really afford it. I think this is a reasonable premise: there may be a small percentage of these folks in the U.S. who don't spend money on luxuries, work full time, and really can't pay for the basics. They aren't prol, but they also aren't lumpen.

Wia: Yes we do, we say: "Summing up the income data for defining the lumpen population, we can conservatively use the cut off of $10k/year for family income to say that 16% of New Afrikan families are lumpen and 10% of [email protected] families are lumpen or migrant proletarian." But maybe they're missing that we are using it to estimate the people not working full time or working below minimum wage, and not to measure their living conditions.

It seems this would be best written as a letter response to get clarity than an article. I started pulling some (possibly) relevant stuff on incomes, and just tacked it at the end when it seemed this was not really worth publishing. ]

In ULK51 in the article Defining and Measuring the Lumpen Class in the U.$, I found the part of "Lumpen Defined by Income" a bit archaic, and may need to be re-analyzed to give a clearer perspective of the income to standard of living ratio.

Even though unskilled and semi-skilled labor, paid at minimum wage, would seem to be overvalued in comparison to the pay of oppressed nations, from the perspective that minimum wage could buy more and go further within those countries, from the perspective of receiving such pay within the United $nakes it is still not enough to pay for all the basic necessities, such as food, shelter, clothing, medical and education for one humyn, let alone a further humyn.

In 1990 the U.$. tax government declared that under $12,000 a year to be living "At poverty level." In the base pay values of $3 to $5 an hour at 40 hours a week. $5 seems to meet your criteria of the $10,000 cut off point, by being at $10,400 for a 52 week year (no vacations) but would still be considered living under the "poverty line" in 1990, over twenty years ago. I am not sure what the U.$. tax government considers the "poverty level" now, and even though it would be "luxurious" compared to third world standards, at this level within the U.$., to make ends meet, these poverty level humyns would still be considered living parasitically off the wasted excess of the First World, in such commodities as food, shelter, and water that they often obtained in ways other than the trade of government currency.

I just think that the section should be re-evaluated.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In the Defining and Measuring the Lumpen Class article we addressed a few important points. First, we need to understand what the term lumpen means. By definition, those engaged in full time work for pay are not part of the lumpen. The lumpen are unemployed or underemployed. Even people working full time and hustling on the side for extra cash are not part of the lumpen, though they may be more likely sympathetic to lumpen ideas and sentiments. Whether or not someone lives below the poverty line is irrelevant to defining the lumpen. There are some lumpen who earn more than full time working people. We just used income calculations to try to determine what percentage of the population is outside of the traditional workforce.

We're not sure what this comrade would propose for a re-evaluation of that section of defining lumpen by income since we didn't use poverty as a metric for lumpen class status, but rather for full time workers we need to look at income as a metric for proletarian vs. labor aristocracy status (based on whether or not someone earns more than the value of their labor).

We did address this question of the "poverty line" in the lead up to our analysis of lumpen defined by income in that same article: "Yet, even in the recent recession, government-defined poverty rates have not yet reached the levels they were at prior to 1965 when they were around 20%, give or take. In 2011 the poverty rate was recorded as 15%. Even this rate is inflated since assistance in the form of tax credits and food stamps is not counted as taxable income. If this income was included in their calculations it would pull 9.6 million people above the poverty line and bring the percent below the poverty rate to less than 12%. So it is only a small group at the margins that may be seeing a shift in their material conditions such that they could arguably be seen as not largely benefiting from imperialism."

It is true that many full time workers in the U.$. fall below the government-defined poverty line. As this writer says, we can see that many of these folks are living parasitically off of the excess stolen from the Third World. The most interesting point here is that some full time workers need to hustle on the side to survive. That might reasonably expand the group who, while not technically lumpen, is sympathetic to the lumpen and potentially revolutionary.

The Poverty Guideline for 2016 for the 48 contiguous states was $11,880 for an individual, increasing at increments of $4,160 for each additional family member. Many people claim that the cost of living is higher in the United $tates so we deserve to get paid more. This critique is why "purchasing power parity" (PPP) was developed as a way to measure Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. What purchasing power parity measures is not how many dollars the average persyn earns, but the average amount of value in real goods they can purchase with their income. The United $tates ranks #10 in this measurement, with most places ranking higher than it being industrial cities in Asia and small oil-producing entities. (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD?year_high_desc=true) The U.$. GDP(PPP) is $55,836 per persyn in 2015, approaching 6 times that of the global average of $15,470. In other words, the "high cost of living" does not justify the high income levels in the United $tates.

Of course, those GDP per capita figures are averages and tell us nothing about the lowest rungs of those populations.

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[Hunger Strike] [Control Units] [Columbia Correctional Institution] [Waupun Correctional Institution] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 52]
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Wisconsin Hunger Strikers August Update

[Wisconsin prisoners have been on hunger strike since June 10 protesting long-term solitary confinement practices. Read previous updates from July and April and learn how you can support this struggle.- Editor]

Update on the food strike in Wisconsin Department of Corrections: We are still on it and still receiving support across the country from outside parts. Us at Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) are eating just enough to prevent them from force feeding until I can get a supervisory writ filed in WI Court of Appeals (WI. Ct. App.) The circuit court in collusion with DOC did not address and/or acknowledge filings. Those at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) last I heard were still being force fed and the court made the order permanent fluid.

One WCI striker had to go to the hospital as result of abuse, got an infection and could have died. Broke his nose too.

United States East District court refused class classification. Comrade previously vowed to appeal that but it's supposed to be new 7th Circuit precedent, stating prisoners gotta have a layer for class certification for class action (I'm not sure of this legality. I have yet to see the order and new case).

Both republican and democrat state officials are supposed to be "interested" in new solitary confinement legislation. One official met with a comrade at WCI. They only let two people visit. The official was the second. While that visit occurred, other officials walked through the oppressive confines.

This struggle is not over. The DOC is still making oppressive plays. On August 8 they continued my AC (Administrative Confinement) going on 19 years. The reasons are simple and concise: my release to GP will be a danger because I'll influence the younger prisoners based on my conduct history. And they noted, my lack of participation (code for kiss ass) showing my disinterest in AC process. (AC process: letting them degrade me, demonize me and sit there begging them and demeaning myself, saying I'm not all that bad mas'er.)

DOC and CCI are still making oppressive moves. Our food portions get smaller every week. And they are cutting movement/activities while telling the public they are studying ways to provide the same in more form.

They are frustrating my access to court, not letting me go to law library, or access the computer to type up my motions. Forcing me to send nerve-damage-penned documents into the court. Knowing courts look down on and don't read chicken scratch. We need you all out there reading this to continue the letter writing campaign that was printed in ULK 51. Write Gov. Walker, State officials, wardens at WCI, CCI and DOC secretary.

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[United Front] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
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Abolitionists from Within Prepare for 2nd September 9th Day of Solidarity

First I would like to thank the comrades willing to study and struggle with Abolitionists From Within (AFW) here on C yard for having the heart to step out and shake hands with the different ethinc groups and put an end to the hosttiliites with peace on their tongue during Black August. Our study group has been growing throughout the cells here at High Desert C yard, despite many setbacks of harassment from the pigs here and there. As I continue to share literature with the comrades and this year's study group, I introduce them to MIM(Prisons) and United Struggle from Within (USW). I remind every comrade that everyone's struggles are different (state of mind). If you know what the problem is our job as comrades is to help come up with solutions to combat the problem for our comrades. But in order to do anything to advance the struggle we must be organized in order to help one another, we must set triablism to the side! And set aside all of our differences as well as our past beef and come together collectively in an effort to accomplish our goals: Peace, Unity and Growth among the oppressed masses.

Wake up young Afrikan! Put an end to this madness. September 9th Day of Solidarity is just around the corner. Abolitionists From Within (AFW) is back on the move for the second year here at High Desert State Prison (HDSP), bringing together a cohesive front in reflecting, fasting and uniting to honor those nameless and faceless men of Black August and Attica (1971) by coming together in solidarity. This year we put the issues of today on the table:

  1. Who is your neighbor? Always remember racism is an idea that is the product of imperialism. And AFW, USW and MIM(Prisons) are all in agreement with anti-imperialism!
  2. What will help us improve our material condition? First we must start off with our neighbor, each one teach one no matter the color.
  3. Understand the prison system. The system operates through criminal justice institutions, but functions more like a caste system than a system of crime control.

Comrades, wake up! Understand the racial caste system; they don't require racial hostility or overt biogtry to thrive, they need only racial indifference. Wake up young Afrikan! Mass incarceration in the U.S. is a comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social system. Cormades, help me help us organize and advance our struggle forward for peace throughout C yard.

Comrades, Peace and Solidarity
(i will also be following up with our report of September 9th activities)
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[Release] [Mental Health]
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Surviving on the Streets is a Challenge after Abuse Behind Bars

It has been some time since we connected, 7 or 8 years I'd say. I was a regular subscriber and poetry/prose contributor over the years I was a fedz prisoner.

As I'm sure the question looms, "how does one find himself back inside?" Especially after having done 17 years fedz? Well, while one exited within a progressive state of mind; obtaining an AA in 15 months; doing 40 hours a week volunteering at a program benefiting those with felony backgrounds; rebuilding broken ties to my three adult children; getting into Junior University even!

What I did not get enough of was mental health treatment! All of those yard riots, overt violence and isolation took a toll it seems! After an all-out melee while attending a birthday party, i began suffering flashbacks, nightmares, and chronic insomnia. A professional diagnosed me with PTSD and recommended medication for sleep and anxiety. I refused out of ignorance, erroneously thinking it'd tamper with my brain. Shortly thereafter, an infrequent sexual partner spit on me. My response was to hit her repeatedly. An act i am ashamed of and totally out of character. While there were no bodily injuries (serious), i was convicted at a farce of a trial of multiple charges including burglary 1, assault 2, assault 4 x2, etc.

And given what is called "dangerous offender" enhancement "45 years"! More time than a murderer. My attorney deliberately aided state in suppressing my mental health files and permitted my past organizational ties/prison B.S. to be used as fear inciter. Thankfully, they were in such a rush to get the so-called "gang leader" they made a multitude of errors! Any one of which could/should get one a new trial. Picture a trial where three separate jurors have a connection to the DA or testifying witnesses. Or a defendant with documented PTSD being purposely misdiagnosed (via reading past fedz writeups) as having "personality disorder" so as to justify and legitimize the dangerous offender enhancement. The struggle continues.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We print this letter because it's a good example of what happens to comrades once they hit the streets. Even those with the best of intentions and solid connections and infrastructure on the outside can struggle to stay out of trouble after years of torture and abuse behind bars. This is something we are interested in hearing more about from released and re-admitted comrades alike: what can be done to address mental health issues, both before release and on the streets, to help people stay out of prison?

We understand this comrade's hesitation in participating with mental health programs even after eir diagnosis of PTSD. There is a long, long history of unethical medical experimentation on oppressed peoples, even those considered U.$. citizens. And the medical and psychology industries in the United $tates are so closely tied up with capitalist ventures, it's difficult to know if you're getting accurate or truthful information about treatment or drugs being prescribed.

This anecdote also paints a portrait of how prisons are used for social control even beyond the prison walls. Violent prison conditions lead to psychological traumas, there's no treatment, and then those psychological traumas carry on post-release and infect interpersynal relationships, ultimately landing people back in jail.

In general, bourgeois psychological treatment focuses on helping people adapt to the fucked up conditions of imperialism. If you are depressed about how unfair and disgusting humyn societies are, that's a valid and natural response. Bourgeois psychology would try to put you on anti-depressants and convince you it's your problem you're depressed — something wrong with your brain. MIM(Prisons) would highlight that this is a social problem, that your brain is in perfect working order, and try to rally you to channel that depression and frustration into working to change these conditions. 9 times out of 10 working on a political project you really believe in will help relieve psychological symptoms caused by the alienation of capitalism.

However, in some cases simply acting doesn't break one out of a mental health crisis. As much as we try to overcome it on our own, sometimes addressing the psychological challenge head-on is an important accompaniment to, or sometimes precursor of, political activism. We're not saying to just go along with whatever treatment plan some quack doctor recommends. But it's important to smartly tap into these resources in order to further one's ability to do political work on an as-needed basis. For example, if this comrade got treatment for their PTSD, ey may have been better able to control eir anger, and thus may have avoided catching another bid.

Eventually we aim to run our own Serve the People medical programs, like the Black Panther Party was doing in their heyday, combining much-needed services with political education against imperialism. Until then we just try to use the few helpful resources available to us to better our ability to do political work, while we build toward that future.

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[Spanish] [U.S. Imperialism]
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Una reseña de libro de ‘Guantanamo Diary’

Guantanamo Diary

de Mohamedou Ould Slahi

2015

Desde el año 2001, Mohamedou Ould Slahi ha estado [email protected] en centros secretos de detención por orden del gobierno amerikano. Primero en Mauritania (el país donde nació), después en Jordania, y finalmente en 2002 fue encarcelado en la Bahía de Guantánamo, donde todavía está. En septiembre 29, 2001, Slahi se entregó voluntariamente a la policía Mauritania; estaba [email protected] de que iba a ser [email protected] ya que era inocente de cualquier crimen. Pero en lugar de ser [email protected], sufrió años de tortura. Al inicio mantuvo su inocencia hasta que se dio cuenta de que no iba a ser [email protected] y hasta que no pudo soportar más el sufrimiento. Desde ese momento, Slahi empezó a confesar cualquier cosa que sus captores querían que dijera. Ocasionalmente, Slahi les decía la verdad cuando le preguntaban directamente y también cuando sabía que sus cuentos no eran consistentes ni podían ser ratificados porque sus ‘confesiones’ fueron totalmente fabricadas. Pero fue después de empezar a dar confesiones falsas e implicar falsamente a otros que a Slahi se le permitió dormir y comer e incluso paró el extremo maltrato físico. Los detalles de su tortura harán que los lectores se pregunten: ¿Cómo pudo durar tanto tiempo?

En 2005, Slahi empezó a escribir sobre sus experiencias (después de que le dieron papel y bolígrafo) y finalmente, después de muchos años de batallas jurídicas, su manuscrito, que fue fuertemente censurado, fue liberado por el gobierno americano. Este libro es una versión editada de la historia de Slahi y contiene las redacciones originales. El editor, Larry Seims, incluye algunas especulaciones de las razones de dichas redacciones y documenta información desclasificada que confirma lo que Slahi escribió. A pesar de la censura excesiva, el manuscrito incluye detalles sorprendentes sobre las experiencias de Slahi, por ejemplo: los años de tortura que sufrió, evidencia incuestionable de su inocencia, y el deseo del gobierno americano de una confesión falsa. El libro está escrito en inglés, el cuarto idioma de Slahi, uno que aprendió en la cárcel para poder comunicarse mejor con sus captores y para poder entender lo que sucedía a su alrededor. Durante seis años y medio, Slahi no pudo tener contacto con el mundo exterior. Incluso, fue ocultado del ‘International Committee of the Red Cross’ (el Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja – CICR) que tiene un mandato bajo los Convenios de Ginebra de visitar a los prisioneros de guerra y a las personas que fueron detenidas en situaciones similares a Slahi, para asegurarse de que son tratados humanamente. Durante el primer año de su encarcelamiento, la familia de Slahi ni siquiera sabía dónde estaba y solo lo descubrieron cuando uno de sus hermanos vio un artículo en un periódico alemán. En 2008, Slahi finalmente se le concedidó el ‘privilegio’ de poder llamar a su familia dos veces al año. En 2010, la petición de habeas corpus, que ordenaba su liberación, fue concedida por el ‘DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ (Corte de Apelaciones de Estados Unidos para el Circuito del Distrito de Columbia). Pero la administración de Obama presentó una apelación y Slahi permanece aun en custodía.

La dominación global del imperialismo Amerikano

Las tantas personas que fueron detenidas y secuestradas de sus países nativos, y que fueron mandadas a la Bahía de Guantánamo, enfatizan el estado neo-colonial de esos países. Como Slahi explica, “El 28 de noviembre es el día de la independencia de Mauritania; simboliza el evento cuando la república islámica de Mauritania supuestamente declaró independencia de los colonizadores franceses en 1960. Irónicamente, en ese mismo día en 2001, la independiente y soberana república de Mauritania entregó uno de sus propios ciudadanos en una premisa. Además de su deshonra eterna, el gobierno de Mauritania no solo rompió la constitución, que prohíbe la extradición de los criminales Mauritanos a otros países, sino que también extraditó a un ciudadano inocente, exponiéndole a la impredecible justicia amerikana.” (p132)

Cuando el CICR por fin consiguió ver a Slahi, el último detenido que tuvieron permiso para ver, intentaron [email protected] hablar del abuso que sufrió. “Siempre escondí los maltratos cuando me lo preguntaba el CICR porque tenía miedo de la represalia. Eso y el hecho de que el CICR no tiene ningún poder real sobre el gobierno amerikano; el CICR intentó, pero el gobierno amerikano no cambió de ruta, ni siquiera una pulgada. Si dejaban al CICR ver a un detenido, significaba que la operación contra ese detenido se había terminado.” (p348)

Este libro enfatiza el poder del imperialismo amerikano y el hecho de que puede hacer lo que quiere en este mundo. No hay ningún gobierno ni organización que pueda luchar contra este poder. Muchos amerikanos se enorgullecen de esto, pero esto es el poder de una gente que quiere dominar el mundo para ganancias económicas. Cuando los oprimidos contraatacan, el poder es desplegado para aplastar a la resistencia por cualquier medio necesario. Por supuesto hay una contradicción inherente en este poder: la dominación del imperialismo amerikano engendra resistencia de los oprimidos en todo el mundo. Los llamados ataques terroristas dirigidos a los E$tado Unido$ (EE.UU) son reacciones al terrorismo amerikano en todo el mundo. Como Slahi escribió cuando estaba viendo la película ‘Black Hawk Down’ (La caída del halcón negro): “Los guardias se volvieron locos emocionalmente porque vieron a muchos amerikanos asesinados a balazos. Pero no se dieron cuenta de que el número de víctimas amerikanas es insignificante comparado con los somalís que fueron atacados en sus propias casas. Me quede pensando cómo la gente puede tener la mente tan cerrada. Cuando la gente ve algo desde solo una perspectiva, fracasan en ver el escenario total, y esa es la razón principal de la mayoría de los malentendidos que a veces resultan en confrontaciones sangrientas.” (p320)

No estamos de acuerdo de que solamente son estos malentendidos que resultan en estas confrontaciones sangrientas. Pero, más bien es el hambre de sangre de la agresión imperialista que continuamente busca nuevas fuentes de riqueza explotada y riqueza robada que inevitablemente resulta en las confrontaciones sangrientas.

Aunque Slahi está lejos de ser radical políticamente, sus experiencias le educaron sobre la realidad de la injusticia y la definición del crimen por los que están en poder. Escribiendo sobre su arresto y encarcelamiento inicial en Mauritania: “¿Por qué tenía tanto miedo? Porque la delincuencia es algo relativo; es algo que el gobierno define y redefine cuando le da la gana.” (p92)

La guerra contra el Islam

El objetivo de la agresión de los EE.UU cambia dependiendo de donde este la mayor resistencia al imperialismo. A mitad del siglo XX la agresión fue concentrada en los países comunistas, esto luego cambió a finales del siglo XX a la guerra contra las drogas en Latinoamérica, y después al mundo árabe al principio del siglo XXI. Slahi está fuertemente consciente de esta reciente ola de agresión por [email protected] imperialistas [email protected] dirigida al Islam y la hipocresía de este ataque:

“…[email protected] [email protected] suelen ampliar el círculo de los que están involucrados para poder atrapar el mayor número de musulmanes posible. Siempre hablan de una gran conspiración en contra de los EE.UU. Yo personalmente fui [email protected] sobre la gente que solamente practican lo básico de la religión y que simpatizan con los movimientos islámicos; me preguntaron sobre cada detalle de los movimientos islámicos, sin importar que tan moderadodos fueran. Es sorprendente que en un país como los EE.UU, donde organizaciones terroristas cristianas como los nazis y los defensores de la supremacía de la raza blanca tienen la libertad de expresarse y reclutar gente públicamente sin repercusiones. Sin embargo, si eres musulmán y si simpatizas con las opiniones políticas de una organización islámica, tendrás grandes problemas. Incluso asistir a la misma mezquita que un sospechoso resultaría en apuros serios. Esto es evidente para todos [email protected] que entienden los componentes de la política amerikana hacia el supuesto terrorismo islámico.” (p260-61)
Slahi también documenta la denegación de las prácticas religiosas en los campos de detención:
“Pero en los campos secretos, la guerra contra la religión islámica era más obvia. No solo no había señales hacia Meca, sino las oraciones rituales también fueron prohibidas. Recitar el Corán fue prohibido. Ayunar fue prohibido. Poseer el Corán fue prohibido. Prácticamente cualquier cosa relacionado con islam fue estrictamente prohibido. No estoy hablando de rumores; estoy hablando de mis experiencias personales. No creo que el estadounidense común esté pagando impuestos para librar una guerra contra el islam, pero sí creo que haya gente en el gobierno que tiene un problema grande con la religión islámica.”(p265)

Slahi no se da cuenta de que este chovinismo no es un problema que [email protected] [email protected] tienen con la religión islámica, sino que es un problema con las personas oprimidas que se alzaran contra el imperialismo amerikano. El Islam es solo uno de los tantos blancos porque es una religión de [email protected] [email protected] El gobierno amerikano (y su gente) no tenía ningún problema con islam cuando Al Quaeda fue un aliado en la lucha contra el comunismo. De hecho, el mismo Slahi entrenó con Al Quaeda durante seis meses en Afganistán, pero esto fue durante el tiempo cuando el grupo fue apoyado por el gobierno amerikano y cuando luchaban contra el gobierno sostenido por los soviéticos en dicho país. Esta acción era legal para los ciudadanos en Mauritania e incluso fue animada por el gobierno amerikano. No obstante, este hecho se convirtió en uno de los factores más importantes que influyó la insistencia del gobierno amerikano de que Slahi estaba detras de los ataques del Centro de Comercio Mundial, entre otras cosas.

¿Se opondrán [email protected] [email protected] a la tortura?

Después de años de tortura e injusto encarcelamiento a manos del gobierno amerikano, las opiniones de Slahi sobre el país y sus habitantes permanecen relativamente moderadas. Ve el bien en todos, una opinión que compartida por los comunistas. Pero es una opinión que no le deja ver los intereses económicos de la mayoría de los amerikanos que hace que apoyen la tortura en Guantánamo, incluso después de que reportajes como este sean publicadas. “¿Qué pensaría un amerikano muerto común si podría ver lo que su gobierno está haciendo a alguien que no ha cometido ningún crimen contra nadie? Por más que me apenaba por los compañeros árabes, sabía que no representaban el árabe común. La gente árabe está entre los mejores en el planeta; son sensibles, emocionales, amorosos, generosos, se sacrifican, son religiosos, caritativos y amables… El odio contra los EE.UU seria regado si la gente en el mundo árabe supiera lo que sucede aquí. Incluso la acusación de que los EE.UU está ayudando y trabajando con los dictadores en nuestros países seria dimentada.” (p257) La realidad es que la mayoría de la gente en el mundo árabe esta consciente de la injusticia amerikana. De hecho, cuando Slahi preguntó porqué le estaban extraditando cuando pensaban que ya había probado su inocencia, la policía en Mauritania le dijo “los Estado Unidos es un país que está basado en la injusticia.” (p134) Es este conocimiento que resulta en que la gente empiece a luchar contra el imperialismo amerikano. Al mismo tiempo, la mayoría de [email protected] [email protected] ahora saben sobre la tortura de los detenidos en la Bahía de Guantánamo y la opinión del público está lejos de furia a conocer estas acciones. Mucha gente de la población se reúne para dar apoyo a figuras políticas como Donald Trump cuando exige más tortura. A través de todo esto, vemos más evidencia que apoya la posibilidad de que Islam pueda ser una Teología de liberación para los que luchan contra el imperialismo amerikano. Así como las masas en Latinoamérica fueron atraidas a la Teología de liberación católica como una reacción contra la opresión e injusticia en esa región, es probable que segmentos de cualquier religión adapten sentimientos similares. La Teología de liberación fue una aliada valiosa para los revolucionarios en Latinoamérica.

Sea como sea que se desarrolle esta lucha de liberacióon, sabemos que la gente oprimida de este mundo no puede esperar a que los americanos abran los ojos y paren la tortura ellos mismos. Ahora, después de un año de que el libro de Slahi fuera publicado (e incluso fue entre los libros más vendidos), todavía no cambia su situación. Las masas deben liberarse a sí mismos; sus captores nunca rendirán su poder voluntariamente. Los amerikanos están disfrutando de los botines de los captores, entonces la mayoría de [email protected] [email protected] están contentos con la tortura mundial imperialista.

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[Gender] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 52]
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Why Won't Wimmin Fight for their Rights?

Half the Sky

I see MIM is going to do a wimmin's issue. I really don't know what can get women interested and have some courage to do anything other than complain. Women seem to think if they smile, be happy, flip their hair and talk with a baby voice it will get them things. Even though we keep getting things taken from us, women will not speak up and stand up.

I read in Prison Action News (by ABC) about a work stoppage they are trying to encourage in September 2016. But all the responses I get from women is they will not participate, they are scared of being locked down, retaliation, blah, blah, blah.

Here is what I am currently going through with the grievance process concerning outdoor yard time: Lieutenant Gayle Ross posted a Posted Operational Rule (POR) changing small yard time. First of all, it was not signed until 1 June 2016, but supposedly went into effect a month before posting on 1 May 2016. PORs must give prisoners a two week notice before a change goes into effect.

Female prisoners are no longer allowed to go out to the small yard at the same time as dog program participants, with/without their dogs, for fear that we may get hurt. Even though dog program participants and their dogs are not separated in the units with non-dog program prisoners. Apparently it's only a safety/security issue for use of the small yard.

Next, Lt. Gayle Ross has spread her safety/security issue to other areas. Apparently wimmin prisoners are too fragile to go outside when it is wet out, puddles on the ground or snow on the ground. Supposedly we are childish and will jump in puddles, and too fragile so we might fall. This reasoning has allowed us to be denied small yard for entire seasons: fall heading into winter, winter, and most of spring, which by definition is rainy. Even though recreation can clear off puddles by sweeping off the water, the recreation staff lets the water sit until it dries naturally, of course closing the small yard for days. Apparently wimmin are dangerous enough to imprison but too fragile to go outside.

There are three steps to our grievance process. I have grieved all the way to a step three, therefore exhausting the grievance process. I am the only one grieving. Women complain, complain, complain but do nothing else. So I am preparing a 1983 [lawsuit].

I have used the grievance petition from MIM(Prisons). None of my three grievances were provided timely responses according to Colorado's AR 850-04 time limit for Step 1, 2 and 3 grievances. I sent this petition to Rick Raemisch, executive director of Colorado Department of Corrections, the United States Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General. The United States Department of Justice basically said they only considered class action cases. Due to the letter to Rick Raemisch, Captain Bowers met with me and Lt. Gayle Ross about the issue. The situation has not changed for the better.

Now more gym time and small yard time has been taken away. If we don't attend a specific aerobic program called Insanity/cize (which is a videotape), we cannot use the rest of the gym or small yard. We cannot use the other exercise equipment or do our own workout program. We must only workout to the DVD (unless we are ADA). Women are complaining but they are doing nothing else.

I am still working on my case with the help of reading material like Battling the Administration by David Meister and Prisoners' Self-Help Litigation Manual by Daniel Manville, that I bought from Prison Legal News.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade raises some important questions about how females are taught to act in order to get ahead in patriarchal society. The idea that flipping hair, smiling and talking with a baby voice will get stuff for wimmin has been reinforced with very real financial and social incentives based on looks and gendered behavior. While society teaches males that being aggressive and self-sufficient is sexy and also the right way to get ahead at work, that same system teaches females that aggressiveness is unattractive and it's best to be weak and dependent on a man.

We can even see this double standard in the way people talk about Hillary Clinton's Presidential candidacy. She's just another imperialist mouthpiece, but she has won the wrath of so many for things that are seen as normal or even praised in male candidates. When Clinton is loud she is called out for "shouting" or "shrieking", while male candidates are praised for their strength for a similar style. Critics are calling Clinton a bitch and a lesbian. When she shows emotion she is too feminine and when she doesn't show emotion she is too masculine. There are endless examples of this sort of attention paid to Clinton's gender rather than her qualifications.

There are many strong wimmin standing up for their rights and the rights of others, like this comrade. And we need to train other wimmin that being strong and self-sufficient is the only way to really get ahead and really win battles. Many men in prison also sit around complaining without doing anything, but it is leaders like this writer who, over time, can develop other activists by setting an example of strength and resolve in practice, combined with a correct political line.

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[Education] [Colorado] [ULK Issue 52]
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Building Peace and Unity in Colorado

Every day we study the 5 principles, but we lack materials which is one of the reasons I'm writing, in hopes of getting what we need. As of now we are a very young group of men who have come together and are spreading peace, unity and internationalism. Here in prison we have brought two rival gangs to peace: the Sur 13 and Norteños 14 have now made a treaty with each other and have stopped killing each other. We are now speaking with some of the Muslims who may be willing to join "Black Hawk" so we are practicing growth and peace.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer provides an excellent example of building peace through a United Front organization that focuses on education. Rival organizations that fight each other behind bars or on the streets are serving the purposes of the oppressive system which seeks to keep us distracted and fighting each other rather than focusing our energy on the real oppressors. With this peace treaty we anticipate a growing powerful movement in Colorado against the criminal injustice system.

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[Control Units] [Hunger Strike] [Columbia Correctional Institution] [Wisconsin]
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Wisconsin Hunger Strikers Standing Strong in Face of Force Feeding

I write you to yall to thank you for your letters of support on our” ”hunger strike” to protest long term “solidarity confinement”. Thank you!

I’m still on strike but now I’m being force fed. This is (ex)tremely humiliating, painful, and unnecessary... But it is what it is. I’ll continue to refuse food and water until they place a one year cap on the use of Administrative Confinement….under this status the D.O.C. can currently keep you in solitary confinement indefinitely.


MIM(Prisons) responds: MIM(Prisons) responds: Read this article for a more detailed update on the Wisconsin prisoners' hunger strike to fight long term isolation and other abuse.

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[Education] [Political Repression]
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The Adaptation of Capitalistic Controls

"The educational and professional training systems are very elaborate filters."

This statement comes from the book titled, Understanding Power: The indispensable Chomsky, by Noam Chomsky. In chapter four, he discusses the safeguards and controls put in place by and to protect the capitalist system. His analysis is apt: control and manipulation began with the educational institutions.

In the United States those who control the information are those who hold power. Which is why the U.S. government is the largest and most efficient collector and disseminator of information. More importantly it is the most effective filtration system of information. Why is that? It is elementary, as Sherlock Holmes would say. If your opponent (read the proletariat) lacks the knowledge (read information and education), then your opponent is unable to employ it to your disadvantage. When I say 'your opponent' I mean the opponent of the u.s. government and capitalism.

This is accomplished through 1) popular control and, 2) the media effective popular control isolates citizens and dissidents. When a person is isolated, it is a simple matter to control their reality and manipulate their actions to conform to your specific aims and objectives. On the other hand is the media. The media does much more than simply providing an outlet for the dissemination of information. It helps to, and actually is a main tool for, indoctrination and marginalization. Or the subjection-manipulation cycle as I have termed it, is continued in perpetuity. The formation of this specific control ('control', meaning measures and policies used to prevent substantive changes to and for the preservation of a system) is meant to create a sheepish or gullible populace. One easily manipulated and maneuvered.

In public life, the effectiveness of this control lies in the fact that, those who aren't indoctrinated, or, at least, able to behave as if they are, soon learn that they have no voice, no vote and lack the consideration of others. Even find that they may be shunned (socially ostracized) as if they had a contagious, fatal disease. The un-indoctrinated are thus isolated and made 'seemingly' impotent. This system has been adopted by the u.s. prison system and is strictly adhered to.

The subjection-manipulation cycle has been adapted to and by prisons because it provides a reliable and justifiable method of repressing subversive, disruptive, or 'negative' attitudes, behaviors and/or activities. Prisons present a sampling of society's range of individuals. Some prisoners become well-indoctrinated and follow prisons' policies and regulations. Other less indoctrinated follow some or most. And finally those who are self-determinants (prisoners who refuse to relinquish their freedom to determine their actions and conduct). It is these last that suffer the reprisals of the subjection-manipulation cycle.

Self-determinants are generally punished. While their counterparts, what I termed subjugated, they are rewarded. The reward/reprisal structure is even clearer in the prison adaptation of the subjection-manipulation cycle. As in public life, where dissidence earns social stigmatization. In prison, self-determinants are shunned and given a wide berth. In this way the system filters the population, in order to isolate self-determinants. Holding them up as examples of unacceptable behavior to the subjugated. Punishment in public is normally being unemployable, negative to one's status in society, or being labeled a liability. This ends with a dissident's social ostracization and impotency. The parallel found in prisons is self-determinants are housed in segregation, isolation units, their privileges curbed or stripped completely. Their associates treated harshly or harassed for continuing any association with the self-determinant. The picture is clear as in public, in prison the self-determinant is isolated, repressed in the hopes that they will become impotent.

The subjection - manipulation cycle is not only a system of rewards and reprisals. It also contains the essential element: information control. Prison authorities screen, examine and filter the information made available to prisoners. This is paralleled in the U.S. schooling system and structure. The only information allowed is that which concurs with the system agenda. By promoting, or discouraging (if not prohibiting), certain information the prisons, as schools in public life, can encourage and manipulate modes of thought and revolutionary, anti-imperialist, or anti-capitalist movement. Why else have overly complicated grievance procedures create obstacles and have banned/prohibited literature lists? Education leads to organization.

The goal is to create an unbearable reality for self-determinants. With the intention of creating a subjugated instead of self-determinant, through the psychological effects of isolation and ostracization As long as prisons can reinforce this cycle, the results will mirror those found in public life. Stigmatized, isolated and labeled an outcast among outcasts, society's outcasts. This is a particularly dire forecast for self-determinants. It presents a massive obstacle, but not insurmountable. The solution begins with knowledge, followed by discipline and unity.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer offers some astute commentary on the role of information, education and media in social control under imperialism. And this underscores the importance of independent media of the oppressed as well as independent institutions for organizing and educating revolutionaries. The "self-determinants" as this author calls them, are people willing to think for themselves and perhaps take up organizing in the interests of the world's oppressed. These anti-imperialists need an organization to support them in the face of the challenges outlined by this author. This is why, behind bars, it is important to build United Struggle from Within, as a structure that can unify and support our prison comrades. Ultimately the independent media of the oppressed, along with our independent organizations, will unite those willing to think for themselves into a revolutionary force that can challenge the imperialist structures and fight for a future where self-determination is not repressed.

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[Spanish] [Abuse]
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Las Prisiones Privadas Expuestas, Misma a las Públicas

Recientemente, una revelación de la prisión privada ‘Winn Correctional Center’ (el Sistema Penitenciario de Winn) en Winnfield, Luisiana, que esta manejada por ‘Corrections Corporation of America’ (la Corporación Correccional de América - CCA) fue publicada en ‘Mother Jones’ (1); una organización de noticias. El artículo explica las condiciones inhumanas y las atrocidades conectadas con los fines de lucro de la CCA.

En la sección sobre la sala de correo, el autor Shane Bauer menciona Under Lock & Key (ULK):

“Deben estar atentos de ciertas cosas, por eso hay boletines puestos por toda la sala de correo, por ejemplo: un boletín informativo de una organización antiimperialista llamado Under Lock & Key (ULK), una edición de Forbes que incluye un enrutador inalámbrico en miniatura para el internet, un CD grabado por Chicano, un rapero gánster, que tiene una canción llamada ‘Death on a CO’ (Muerte en un CO).” Curiosamente, los empleados en la sala de correo de Winn, consideran la educación política tan peligrosa al ambiente de la prisión así como a electrónicos y las amenazas de muerte. Esta obvia censura no es única a esta prisión y tampoco es única a las prisiones privadas. Hay muchas cárceles estatales por todo el país donde sabemos que nuestro correo esta censurado en una manera similar. Desafortunadamente, no tenemos una periodista de investigación dentro de las cárceles y como solo podemos comunicarnos con nuestros camaradas por correo, no hay ninguna manera de combatir esta censura o exponerla. Siempre publicamos incidentes de censura en nuestra página web, pero en realidad, nunca sabremos lo que ocurre con aproximadamente dos tercios del correo que mandamos.

Al leer la revelación, uno podrá creer que esta prisión privada es diferente a las cárceles estatales. Esto es uno de los aspectos negativos más graves de este artículo, porque los lectores se quedan pensando que las prisiones estatales son intrínsecamente mejores. Sin embargo, todavía publicamos muchos artículos de nuestros correspondientes que están dentro de las cárceles que muestran que las prisiones estatales pueden ser tan malas así como ‘Winn Correctional Center’ (el Sistema Penitenciario de Winn); uno ejemplos incluyen: la falta de asistencia médica adecuada que resulta en problemas de salud a largo plazo, la falta de cursos, el confinamiento arbitrario de los prisioneros a sus celdas, el uso de la fuerza en exceso, la falta de discreción en la contratación de empleados, y la lista continúa.

Luchar contra las prisiones privadas es decir que las prisiones estatales son aceptables. Es algo que legitimiza el gobierno de los Estado Unidos (EE UU) como un árbitro imparcial e indica que la prisión no es algo perjudicial, pero si no, es solo la titularidad privada que es mala. Sin embargo, ‘The Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons’ (El Ministerio Internacional Maoísta de Prisiones – MIM Prisons) ve que la lucha de la prisión en los EE UU es una lucha en contra del control social – sin importar si es privada o estatal.

Damos las gracias a Shane Bauer por escribir este artículo tan espantoso que ayuda a nuestra lucha contra las condiciones inhumanas en las prisiones. Debemos tener una visión más amplia de cómo las cárceles estatales están relacionadas a este tema. E incluso, como el movimiento de la reforma penitenciaria está conectada con la lucha por la autodeterminación de las semi-colonias internas y con la liberación del Tercer Mundo del control total del imperialismo. Sin duda, el encarcelamiento para sacar provecho debe ser abolido. Pero este fenómeno solo podía ocurrir en una economía capitalista. Si no esta atrocidad del capitalismo, habrá otra, y por supuesto hay otras. Si nuestra lucha está restringida simplemente a la abolición de la titularidad de las prisiones, hubiéramos malgastado mucho tiempo y energía que podría haber sido usado en una lucha mucho más grande.

1. Shane Bauer, “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard,” Mother Jones, julio/agosto 2016
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