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Under Lock & Key

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[Censorship] [State Correctional Institution Huntingdon] [Pennsylvania]
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Pennsylvania Censorship Victory

Fuck CensorShip
This is a followup letter to notify you fine folks of the outcome of the article in ULK 46 about textbooks being censored by Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC). Any time a prisoner receives a publication it gets screened for any possible reason they might be able to withhold it. This is done by a committee, and these people may consult other prison employees for help in the decision on whether or not to allow a given publication into the prison. If this committee, the Incoming Publication Review Committee (IPRC) deems a publication does not fit the criteria to be possessed by a prisoner, they hold it, and send the prisoner a notification. The prisoner has a certain amount of time to reply before it gets destroyed. The prisoner can request the publication get mailed out, at their expense (only first class postage), or they have the option to appeal IPRC's decision to the superintendent.

I had three computer programming textbooks denied over the course of 5 months and appealed each one in turn. The superintendent here at SCI-Huntingdon responded to me by saying that I wouldn't be getting my books. He told me that IPRC's decision is final, and that he can't approve them. Around that time I wrote to you and got your censorship packet. I appealed the superintendent's decision to central office by writing a letter to the department policy director Dianna Woodside. In the letter I told her that, although the IT department was consulted, they were incorrect in determining that the books were a threat. I demonstrated my preexisting knowledge of the subject, and listed several cases where the prisoners were awarded monetary damages for being denied books, including one that was specifically about programming textbooks. I told the official that I was sincere about trying to pursue a possible career in programming computers, and reiterated my willingness to go to court. I am unsure of why exactly she decided in my favor, but in the end I got all three of my books sitting right here with me. I am sending copies of the decisions along with this letter.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The books this prison initially denied were Java in a Nutshell, Build Your Own Website the Right Way Using HTML & CSS, and Object Oriented Programming. This shows both the random and unfounded basis on which prison administrators decide what literature to censor, and the potential for successful appeal with persistence. It's obvious that prisons in Amerika can not possibly have a rehabilitative goal if the very books required for education into a productive career post-prison are denied for no reason.

We certainly don't win the right to our incoming mail often, but it is well worth the time to appeal every instance of censorship possible. If nothing else, it provides documentation of the denials and lack of reasons, and may pave the way for a future court case. For those facing censorship, write to us for a copy of our censorship packet that will guide you through the appeals process. And be sure to send us any documentation you have on censorship of our materials, your appeals, and administrators' responses to your appeals. We put these documents on our website at www.prisoncensorship.info.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Amerika... Are We Free

I often wonder, that in the land where freedom rings,
Why does pain and suffering it also bring?
Because the only ringing I hear is a baton against my bars
As I stare out the window, beyond the day to its stars.
Eyes closed wishing & praying as often as I might,
I still must fall asleep, within a cell every night.
Hoping when I wake, that it was nothing but a dream,
Yet nothing in my life is now as it may seem.
Loved ones passing, as I stay locked inside of a cage,
Working a job that pays less the 1% of minimum wage,
Walking on the yard, as shots ring out from over head,
Saying a silent prayer, hoping that no one else is dead.
"The joint" is locked down over an argument on the yard.
Not a fist was thrown, yet the whole "joint" is scarred.
Commissary denial, and visitation is restricted.
"On the new," they holler, another man has been convicted.
Everyone around me is doing maximum time.
Once free & now trapped, like a box & it's mine
Silently and desperately, trying to find some way out.
While dry tears escape my eyes as I scream silent shouts.
So anyone whom claims that Amerika is the land of the free,
They don't know a single thing, about the life that surrounds me!

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[Education] [ULK Issue 47]
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Freedom Fighter: Inspired by Malcolm X

MalcolmX
"Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think as you do or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X
I have chosen comrade Malcolm X as my freedom fighter, may he rest in peace.

Comrade Malcolm X was a man who grew up troubled by family issues. His father was murdered and his mother was slowly starting to deteriorate mentally. The comrade started to steal, and was running numbers, etc. This landed the comrade in prison where he continued to get into trouble, until he met a brother from the Nation of Islam who helped comrade Malcolm X to get himself together.

In time, comrade Malcolm X educated himself on the inside and eradicated all his bad habits. After his release he continued his work as a revolutionary, helping to build the Nation of Islam and fighting for the people. Later on in his life he was working on his own organization, the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

Comrade Malcolm X had a major impact on my life. When I came to prison in 2005 I was sent to the supermax in Ohio, and I had the wrong understanding of revolutionary change, and I had a 7th grade education. I met a prisoner who let me read The Autobiography of Malcolm X and when I had finished, my whole life was changed. I started working harder to educate myself and to become more politically conscious and vowed to spend the rest of my life fighting against the oppressor.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's choice of a freedom fighter underscores the critical importance that education and political literature play in raising the consciousness of our comrades behind bars. While people may have an intuitive grasp of the nature of Amerikan imperialism, the lumpen mainly see the option of violence and theft against the people as a way to respond to the conditions of their lives. This is not revolutionary, and in fact sets the struggle back. But even with limited access to educational material we see people like Malcolm X and this comrade taking up the revolutionary struggle.

For this reason we place a big emphasis on getting our newsletter Under Lock & Key and political books in to prisoners. Most of the money we spend is on these tasks. And we rely on our comrades behind bars to share the lit they receive, and turn others on to the revolutionary mindset to help build new freedom fighters amongst the lumpen.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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A Thunder Storm

Everybody screaming west side, east side
It doesn't matter, both sides Black men die
Tell me why do we die right before our time
It was said that every Black man committed crime
That's a lie
We can change if we put our minds
on revolution. Let's unite and together we can rise.
In due time thunder storms can produce a flower
Through revolution and patience, then the world's ours
But too much patience without action then we all cowards.
Black power is what I scream right before I die
Nightmares of being murdered by the Amerikkkan kind
It's a known fact that Amerika has been designed
to kill us all. Read your books it's been proven many times.
It's hard to cope with the madness that's going on
but I'm a soldier and as a soldier I gotta remain strong.
Pick up revolutionary books and study them right
And when the time comes, we must not be afraid to fight.
We gotta fight if we plan to reach the top
And Blacks killing Blacks all that gotta stop.
It won't be long before Amerika takes a fall.
Fuck the government, may death be upon you all.
It ain't nothing but capitalists in the white house
And Obama sold us out
I'm fed up with lies and bullshit
Black leaders talking good, but being hypocrites,
Claiming they on our side
Capitalizing off the Third World by teaching lies.
I despise all capitalist because they're evil
I'd rather die than let the government kill my people.
They say we equal, how is that when we still trapped
inside the projects, can't find jobs so we slang crack.
Picture that, little kids without their moms and dads
They on their own, becoming strong now they toting gas
They go to prison, hit the streets screaming "pro Black!"
Then you put them under the jail because they teaching facts.

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[New Afrika] [Youth] [ULK Issue 47]
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Celebrate the Youth, Our Future Freedom Fighters

An approximate definition of a freedom fighter is someone who lays down their life in the struggle for freedom and self-determination. The hystory of the Third World is full of misery, disease, war, starvation and exploitation all because of imperialist exploitation of the global south. By growing up in these conditions, many become class conscious at a young age and are ready to stand up against oppression, and some become recognized for their dedication to the international struggle for freedom.

I could dedicate this article to the brave, selfless revolutionaries like Che, who in his adventures from Argentina to Mexico saw firsthand how U.$. imperialism was to blame for Latin America's backwardness. Or to Nelson Mandela who socially revolutionized South Africa and even gave his freedom for a better life for his people. Many have fought to end exploitation.

Really though I want to dedicate this paper to the youth, the future of the revolution. To those who at a young age saw misery and experienced hunger and at a young age dialectically understood that it was because the oil, or minerals in the dirt, were more important than the lives of the people living on that land.

During the Cultural Revolution it was the youth who attacked the power-hungry revisionists in the party. Chairman Mao said that the youth are the future cadres of the revolution and we must protect them and educate them to keep the struggle alive.

These bourgeois politicians talk a good game but do they really want change? According to a recent interview Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recognized that society has betrayed the youth. He told CBS This Morning that statistically the United $tates has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the so-called developed world.(1) Today's culture in Amerika is all about flashy cars and jewelry and social media with the popular #YOLO. The parasitic culture could care less what goes on outside their borders as long as they get theirs.

The biggest refugee crisis since WWII is taking place in the Middle East all because there's a power struggle between the west and the east. It's sad that 25,000 children traveled alone from Syria to Europe, not knowing if there will be a tomorrow.(2) The bourgeois media is quick to water down First World intervention and call the Assad regime the enemy of world peace, but who is bombing whole cities killing dozens of innocent people at a time?

Never in the hystory of the Third World have they experienced long periods of peace. Dialectically dissecting the hystory of the Middle East we see that post-WWII the paper tiger (U.$. dollar) has had its hand in the Middle East supplying guns and aid to fight wars for imperialist interests. How hypocritical is it to call yourselves the true examples of democracy when you're ready to go to war for a couple barrels of petroleum at the expense of innocent lives.

Only through the example of the Cultural Revolution, with the structure and discipline of Mao Zedong thought, can our youth have a chance. It was the policy of Mao's China that the interests of the youth be protected and that they be organized in order to fully participate properly in the social progress of the nation. Education is the key for progress, and the youth are the future of that progress. Oppose imperialism. To protect the future we must first make sure there's a future.


Notes:
1. 18 September 2015, CBS This Morning, Sanders' surge.
2. 18 September 2015, Refugee Crisis. ABC News, Nightly News.

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[Abuse] [Censorship] [Florida] [ULK Issue 47]
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Punishment for Reporting Abuse in Florida

Regarding the rejection of Under Lock & Key 45, I have yet to see the publication. Yet allegations that it depicts "sexually oriented content" make no sense to me. We may be able to use this false review and classification as a means of obtaining relief against arbitrary censorship. I am currently in confinement and was unable to make a copy of the grievance and response for my safe keeping.

My current confinement is a serious retaliation against me resulting from an incident on September 8, when a prisoner who was in handcuffs was brutally assaulted by a Sergeant A. Arana. Shortly after the assault I wrote a kite to a prisoner in confinement, informing him that a few other prisoners had witnessed him being brutalized by Sergeant Arana. I listed the names [of 3 other prisoners] in the kite, informing him that he needed to write a grievance to the Inspector General ASAP, listing those names as witnesses, that he gotta go all the way through with it, that he could sue and that I was writing the secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections Julie Jones asking her to look into his brutality.

On September 12 all those names I mentioned in the kite and myself got rounded up and placed in confinement under investigation. The Captain showed me my kite even though it was not written using my government name. I was being placed under investigation for "conspiracy to defraud the state." No such charge was delivered. Everybody else was released on September 16, and I was released from confinement on September 18.

Once released I learned that Sergeant Gaucin, Sergeant Arana and Sergeant Sanders were telling prisoners on the compound that I am an FBI snitch. They are obviously trying to get me stabbed or killed. While being escorted to confinement on September 12, Sergeant Gaucin searched me and found an FBI/Department of Justice Civil Rights Division agent's business card. The agency has visited me twice due to my reporting on brutality of prisoners. So I carry the card and give prisoners their information if they need it. I wrote the Secretary a letter about being called a snitch by officers. On October 2 I was placed in confinement under protective management. On October 5 I was released.

The very next morning, October 6 at 8 a.m. count, Sergeant Juliano approached my cell. The cell door was already open. Sergeant Juliano ordered me out of the cell. I stood at the rail outside of the cell in perfect view of the surveillance cameras. Sergeant Juliano opened my locker and started dumping all my property on the floor, loudly stating: "You snitch, you baby rapist, I don't want no snitch in my dorm, you're getting out of my dorm right now, you wanna write up my officers? If you don't stop writing up my officers, I'm gonna fuck you up myself, you damn snitch, you baby rapist," making sure he was heard by the whole wing. He continued, "I'm not Sergeant Arana you snitching mother fucker, you're going to jail."

I was placed in handcuffs while he found my address books stating, "you won’t be writing the Secretary and FBI and whoever else you like to write about what's going on here, you won't be seeing these anymore, snitch bitch," putting my address books in his left cargo pants pockets.

I was escorted to the Captain's office by Corrections Officer (C/O) Hunter who stated, "you need to mind your own business, you write too many grievances, you talk to much."

At the Captain's office I informed the Captain of everything that was said and done by Sergeant Juliano and C/O Hunter. The Captain simply informed me that I was being placed in confinement pending a disciplinary review (DR) for disrespecting Sergeant Juliano; something I never did.

On October 7 the DR was delivered. Sergeant Juliano stated that while counting, he smelled smoke in the area of my cell and asked me if I was smoking. He claimed I replied, "Bitch, ain't nobody smoking, get the fuck out of here and go do your job."

On October 8 the DR hearing team informed me that I was being sentenced to only 15 days rather than 30. They really wanted to let me go, but they said that they feared for my safety and would decide what to do by the time my 15 days would be up. I'm waiting to see how it works out.

No matter how it goes I'm filing a civil claim for retaliation. I had just filed my tort claim in state court, been given a case number and awaiting a response on my application for indigency. The tort is about loss of my personal property last October.

We are putting the pressure on the pro-imperialist goons (pigs) down here by simply letting the Secretary know what's going on. The move is picking up. However, they might skip me soon, that's how it always go.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This report of both unfounded censorship (for content that does not exist in Under Lock & Key!) and punishment for reporting on conditions of confinement are ongoing problems in Florida prisons. We've initiated a campaign against the censorship in that state, but we know that it will likely come with retaliation against those who choose to participate in the struggle. We will use the pages of ULK to expose the Florida injustice system, but we also need legal help to take on the broader anti-censorship battle. It is of critical importance (and also legally protected) that our comrades in Florida, facing this sort of abuse, be able to receive political education and communicate their stories to the outside world. Fighting the censorship is an important part of the battle. If you are in Florida and want to get involved in the censorship battle let us know.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Revolutionary Discourse

Its a hardknock life blood,
as we struggle to find liberation in a land that don't belong to us.
Through decades of national oppression,
poverty at the hands of capitalist institutions.
Yet we remain, and seem content,
dying to protect rights that aren't even ours.
How long must we be the fools while they rock us to sleep,
pacifying us with equal rights promises that they won't keep?
I'm fed up! I want my freedom!
While Black scholars and Black politicians debate,
while racist institutions and television raise your children,
I'ma be Bangin' for Revolution,
I get it poppin' and keep my eyes on the prize duke,
no longer willin' to kill a brother just 'cause his flag is blue,
or black.
I'm just fighting to get my freedom back,
to re-educate our children and get the love of a people back.
Yeah, I was born in the "land of the free,"
but they ain't free me.
The made me a victim of systems and poverty.
It's just how the story reads,
stolen from Afrika, brought to Amerikkka to see my people bleed.
And though we seem to have overcome the obstacles of slavery,
we still find ourselves fighting for justice and equality.
The emancipation proclamation was a formality
to extort proletariats in a capitalist society
LEGALLY.
But you don't believe,
you're still reaching for the Amerikkkan dream,
while they exterminate our species.
But you blame me, because I castigate those
who disagree that this life in the west is the life to oppose.
You're either friend or foe in this war for freedom,
Justice and equality, this war for revolution.
I'm fueled by 400 years of rage
for those who couldn't escape, and hence were made slaves.
I'm fueled by the contradictions of a Black nation,
who talks tha talk but contributes to our indoctrination of Black self-hate.
I'm fueled by the blood, sweat, and tears
spilled by a people in a foreign land just trying to live.
I'm fueled by the catastrophes of a history we can't shake off,
because we've been indoctrinated with the will to be lost.
But I want freedom!
And I won't stop until this government falls.
Grab every branch of government by the balls,
and scream FREEDOM!
And we can't stop until our people are free.
Unite the souls of oppressed people and sing,
We want freedom!

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[Control Units] [Illinois] [ULK Issue 47]
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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.

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[United Front] [Texas]
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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.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 47]
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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

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