The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? help out
[Control Units] [Illinois] [ULK Issue 47]
expand

Support the Illinois Fight Against Solitary Confinement

I was recently made aware of the settlement agreement in the California solitary confinement case. I agree with Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) in the article in ULK 46 "Torture Continues: CDCR Settlement Screws Prisoners". The agreement that was reached is not worth a grain of salt. It still permits the use of solitary confinement within California. The fact that the agreement seems to eliminate indefinite terms of solitary confinement is not a real accomplishment at all. It is merely camouflage. This "concession" hides the fact that no real victory has been made. A prisoner can still spend up to 5 years at a time in solitary confinement within California prisons. We must continue to fight back.

Earlier this year three prisoners within the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) filed a class action lawsuit challenging the use of solitary confinement within IDOC. In mid-2013 approximately 2,500 prisoners were being held in solitary confinement within IDOC. These numbers may seem small compared to the situation in California but Illinois has a significantly smaller prison population.

This lawsuit creates another chance for prisoners to combat the oppressive conditions of solitary confinement. I am asking that prisoners across the United $tates send any information that they can to Uptown Peoples Law Center, 4413 N. Sherridan, Chicago, IL 60640. Address your letters to Allan Mills. He is the lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the Illinois lawsuit. If this lawsuit is successful it could be the beginning of the end of solitary confinement everywhere.

Let us practice unity and show that state lines do not alienate us from each other. There are several prisoners who were directly involved in the struggle against solitary confinement in California and elsewhere, who have access to resources and support groups that could be useful in the Illinois struggle. Unite and fight against imperialist oppression. Dare to struggle! Dare to win!


MIM(Prisons) adds: The fight against long-term isolation in Illinois is definitely part of the broader fight against control units everywhere. Even if it's hard to win in the imperialist courts, this doesn't mean we stop fighting, especially when we have the legal resources to take on the fight.

But we still need to be clear that even if we could shut down all of the solitary confinement cells in the United $tates, this would still be only a small part of the criminal injustice system. We need to approach this battle as a part of the larger struggle to take down the imperialists more broadly so that they don't just come up with a different way or a different population to torture and oppress.

chain
[United Front] [Texas]
expand

Anti-Sectarianism in the United Front

I would like to say thank you for the support you guys put out for us in prison. As much as we don't want to give leverage to these parasites, we have to realize what we're up against. By analyzing current events and the possibility of change to happen, we have to accept failures in order to gain grounds. The path we choose now will determine where we're headed. It can be seen everywhere that the old system ain't working. As much reforms are placed on the table, the crumbs are repacked and tried again. No matter how different it's made, it's the same old ideas. The boiling point has been exceeded and riots are getting more intense. This will happen when the people decide their own fate. A hero is not needed, only the spark which will light the way for others.

I emphasize decolonizing ourselves and making the connections between our oppression and imperialism. Being a person of color, I know where I stand. Therefore I do agree on the five pillars of the United Front for Peace in Prisons. I'm an anarchist and belong to a First Nation. The liberty tree branches touch certain ideas we agree upon. By coming familiar with other struggles outside our own lines we can connect the dots that lead to a common enemy. By placing the teachings of resistance in several minds, we can prevent it from being destroyed by placing it in one basket, which will help us prevail into the unknown future.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome this comrade into the United Front for Peace in Prisons, especially as an anarchist and a member of a First Nation. We aim to unite all who can be united against imperialism. Sectarianism (prioritizing your group over the entire people) leads to divisions between Maoists and anarchists, which are unnecessary in our fight against our common enemy.

We also agree with this comrade's emphasis on educating many people rather than building up single ideological leaders. Building up the political competency of all of society is one of the keys to success of our revolutionary struggle. If we rely on a single leader, or a single party, for guidance, then we will inevitably be led astray when that leader is no longer around, whether by natural death or assassination. Spreading political study to as many people as possible helps protect our struggle and helps people to be masters of their own future.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 47]
expand

Caught Up in the White Man's Noose

Caught in da white man's noose
I'm struggling like a lion, gotta fight to get loose.
Boom!
Hear the gun blast, I hit the ground with a gasp
and now I feel a strong hand on my back
I'm pulled up, stood up and spoke to like a friend.
I turn around to see a man who was once an enemy
with the smile of amends.
I thought "for sure this is the end"
cuz in the beginning it was flag against flag, us against them.
I braced myself when I saw him raise a handgun from his waist.
I thought "damn son its your time to be erased,"
so I kept a poker face
and waited for death to overtake.
He handed me the gun and loosened the rope around my neck.
Is he crazy? "nigga don't you know I can blast you in yo chest" I said
"Well comrade don't you think if I wanted you dead,
I would've never fired lead through that thread?"
I stood there confused, is this the truth, a truce?
He said "listen man, wake up and see the light.
It ain't a war between me and you, that realization is overdue.
It's a war against these pigs oppressing me and you."
I now see the truth.
It ain't about your flag, my flag.
Its about a united front for peace in the streets.
Independence, liberation, revolution,
free me!
As well as us from being brainwashed, preprogrammed,
and stuck in a life with no quest for the truth.
Damn I was caught up in this white man's noose
and it took my enemy in the street to cut me loose
and show me the truth
and when I get that white man who hung me...
Boom!!


Abysmal love to all y'all united for peace from the
abysmal ghost guerilla mafia nation

chain
[Medical Care] [Ridgeland Correctional Institution] [South Carolina] [ULK Issue 49]
expand

One More Doctor Replaced

There is some good news. Remember the doctor Robert Sharp mentioned in the ULK 40 Hailey Care article? He was terminated from Ridgeland Medical and rumor has it that he's in Florida. A lot of effort was expended in trying to get him out, however much work needs to be done still. It seems the history of slavery, Willie Lynch, and other institutionalized oppression still have an effect on a certain class of people here in South Carolina.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We've been reporting on the deficient medical care in this South Carolina prison for nearly two years. By our count, they are on at least their fourth incompetent doctor in that time, and we have no reason to believe the medical care was any better before that time.

While it can be a useful battle to organize around, in the end removing "Doctor" Sharp, or any of the doctors in question, won't solve the problem of inadequate medical care at Ridgeland Correctional Institution. Reformists spend all their energy trying to get a better doctor, or a better medical director, or a better president, or whatever. But inadequate medical care for prisoners likely isn't Sharp's only offense to humynity. There are more forces at play than just Sharp's bad judgement or malice. And there are more Sharps than we can count, other doctors at other prisons all across our country providing similar or even worse treatment. There are likely more Sharp-type doctors working in U.$. prisons than not, and when they are removed from their job, they just go to a different facility and are replaced by a similar "doctor." As was explained in the Hailey Care article, the inadequate medical care is even sponsored by the Governor of South Carolina.

On the other hand, revolutionaries aim to change the entire social and economic system. We want to eliminate the conditions that breed people like Robert Sharp, Nikki Hailey, and all their predecessors. We want to provide actual medical care for everyone in society, including prisoners. We want to create a communist society not based on capitalism or national oppression. Today we work on small reforms and education, to set the stage for the day when we will need to take up arms against the state in order to end the various oppressions inherent to capitalism.

chain
[United Front] [Organizing] [Arkansas] [ULK Issue 47]
expand

Arkansas Study Group Responds to UFPP Discussion

I hope this letter finds you and your family in good health and high spirits. I received the information on how to form a study group and a copy of Fundamental Political Line of MIM(Prisons) you sent. Thank you. It has been very helpful. I also received Under Lock & Key No. 45.

The study group I started only has three people involved so far. It's difficult because we are currently being housed in administrative segregation, so we basically have to yell back and forth to one another. But it's not all bad. Having to yell to one another might get others involved in our discussions because they might hear something that touches base with them.

The material we used in our first study group was ULK 45. After passing it around we discussed some of the articles. One of those articles was "UFAO Links Up with UFPP [United Front for Peace in Prisons]."

The comrade in the article did some good things, like setting up a "poor box" and doing tournaments, but we feel that he stopped making progress when he waged a war against officers and a lumpen organization (LO). The comrade said that by a member of one LO breaking into the boxes of two other LOs, somehow his treaty was broken. I'm curious, did the comrade investigate the incident to determine whether the theft was sanctioned by the leadership of the one LO? If the theft was just an isolated incident then it should not have had any effect on the treaty. That's assuming, of course, that the treaty in question was a peace agreement reached between the leadership of each LO in that particular barracks or at that particular unit.

We believe that if it was just an isolated incident then the comrade should have let the leadership of the LO the thief belonged to hand down punishment. However, since the comrade is the leader of the UFAO, he could have called together a "committee" to determine how the situation should be handled. We feel that if the comrade would have just prevented the thief from participating in, or benefiting from, UFAO function, he would still be in population pushing the cause forward.

We've learned from the comrade a lot of positive things we might try out in the future, like the poor box, but we also learned to never rush a decision, especially one that could possibly result in a "war." We believe that all decisions made should be in line with the progress of our cause, and any decision reached should be a collective effort to ensure the best path forward is taken.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In our response to the UFAO article that this Arkansas study group is responding to from ULK 45, we asked others to share tactics for how to handle a breach of a peace treaty without resorting to violence if possible. Everyone's conditions will be different, and what works in some facilities might not apply to others. This writer's suggestion of approaching the leading members of the treaty-breaker's organization is one potential option.

Even though the specific agreements you adopt will vary, it's a good idea for everyone forming a peace treaty to discuss this question in advance, before an actual breach of the treaty happens. That way you'll already be in agreement about how to handle a situation like the one explained by UFAO in ULK 45 where the peace treaty was thrown out the window, a "war" was initiated for retribution, and the leader of the peace treaty ended up in solitary confinement.

We hope to continue this discussion of how to make our efforts to build the United Front for Peace in Prisons as fruitful as possible. Send in tactics that have worked in your peace-building efforts to maintain course when it seems to be going off the tracks.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 49]
expand

The Awaken


Rising from the ashes like a phoenix
Emancipated from the fetters of oppression
O, the beauty of freedom!
Imperialism is the absolute adversary
And capitalism the daunting sin
I was branded a rebel
Because of my revolutionary stance
This was a nightmare
From which my only escape
Was to awaken

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

Embrace


I ask that you embrace
the tides of the times
we are no longer confined
with binds on the mind
once we embrace
united front, scientific thought
and study for line
the long arm of imperialism
is no longer strong
when through theory and practice
we arrive at the decision
to take up arms
which is a must
if we are to defeat
imperialism's parasitic lust
with too much greed
we fail to heed
even the most basic of humyn needs
so turn the tides of the times
study correct line
and overthrow imperialism
hystory is on our side

chain
[Abuse] [Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

Overcome


Cowards will hit you when you're in chains.
Anger fits you, coursing through your veins.
Inflicting violence when you can't fight back.
Demanding silence or the charges will stack.
Stop resisting, I've got mace!
Was sleeping, now on your face.
Throwing grenades when you are unarmed and compliant.
Snitches, puppets and police can't take down a giant.
Most are grimy, with much snake in their blood.
The rest, evil flowers beginning to bud.
Giving us bad water and rotten food.
What the hell put them in such a bad mood?
Don't think they can get the cuffs any tighter.
Of course they will have to chain up a fighter.
Excuse me, I've done nothing wrong, sir.
Under his saddle must be a burr.
Getting sprayed after being cuffed.
Wearing a badge must make them tough.
Everyone should apply a little resistance.
Make the pigs call "Officer in need of assistance."
Like a martye against ten, maybe more or less.
Just give as much as you take, simply do your best.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

Serious Ideal


Sister China
1949
Chairman Mao caught her eye
Imperialism reigns
But soon will fall
Socialism will rise
And prevail
Hammer in hand
The vanguard will swing
The capitalist pig will be nailed
The lumpen will grow its wings
We stand and fight
Instead of flight
Until the proletariat is finally free

chain
[Texas]
expand

AMBI Statement of Unity

The name of this organization is the AMBI Foundation. The purpose of this foundation is to bring prisoners to full awareness internally. Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has a way of making prisoners believe that they have no rights, but, if brought to full awareness, real eyes will realize real lies. The AMBI Foundation is under the guidance of MIM(Prisons). We recognize, understand, as well as apply the five United Front for Peace in Prisons principles. Our foundation is based on them.

Peace - We believe in peace, because without it, there's no unity amongst inmates.
Unity - We believe in unity because only when we unite will we actually see change as well as growth
Growth - We believe in growth simply because it's power in numbers.
Internationalism - We believe in this because we fight for freedom from discrimination as well as equality, we must practice what we preach.
Independence - The system does not and will not serve us. AMBI also stands for A Movement Built Independently

Those are all important as it is the forefront of our organization.

chain