Justice? What justice? There is no such thing as justice. Visit the jails and here's what you'll see. "Just us" occupying these modern day concentration camps.
Justice? What justice? Inside the courtroom you think you'll find justice? Absolutely not. You'll find just-ice. What do we associate ice with? Cold. Inside the the courtroom empathy is nonexistent, sympathy nonexistent, feelings nonexistent, emotions nonexistent for the jury, the judge & the district attorney.
I can't find no justice in the courtroom. I'm innocent but they don't believe me. They want me to pay fines court costs and restitution for something I didn't do. So I reach into my pockets pull out the lint and tell them my pockets contain "just this."
Where was justice for Malcolm X, Tupac Shakur, Christopher (Biggie Smalls) Wallace, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, the many Black Panthers and Black Liberation Army members who were hunted & viciously murdered with malice by the police & FBI just for association with those organizations? Hmm what happened to the members of the most vicious organization "Ku Klux Klan"? Nothing!
Psychiatric prisons, gulags and dungeons are the worst of the worst when compared to the standard human warehouses. These foul dinosaurs are established under the guise of compassionate medical intervention (yes, they actually expect you to believe such garbage). Mental health treatment in psychiatric prisons can be and is torture.
Currently in California, the prisoners are rounded up daily, drugged and forced through the cattle stockades of court cells and into the courts where they are dragged before those of black robe who arbitrarily and capriciously commit them to a virtual (if not actual) life in prisons now designated for those thought to be mentally ill from the viewpoint of imperialism's labor aristocracy. However, one need not be actually suffering from mental illness at all. I was not, and am not, yet this fact had no effect. I myself and many others have been railroaded into psychiatric imprisonment with doctor approved authorization to be at all times heavily sedated. In my case it was only for the use of body building steroids with no prior mental health history requiring medical intervention of any kind.
And, while being held within these psychiatric prisons and jails I have been, and many others are, tortured and abused, starved and injured, sometimes on a daily basis. I have observed young guys whose faces are now a mass of scarring due to them being drugged to the point of unconsciousness and where massive enforcer brutes are purposefully let into their cells to beat those who are drugged, and the victims of such beatings are left to suffer within their cells with no medical attention at all.
These designated prison and jails have cells with feces on the walls and floors. Desk-type tables caked with old dried foods and grime combined to form an un-cleanable cemented solid. And they are usually air conditioned in winter and heated in summer, especially where these cell occupants are given no mattress and sometimes for days no blankets as well. I currently have prison guards who pass my cell door, which is all steel, every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, and bang on it loudly with a steel baton like device. Try attaining a deep restorative pattern of sleep under those conditions. This is the current living environment of Amerikkka's psychiatric prisons and the pitiful inhabitants of its populations.
I am not under the illusion that these facts are not already known by our professionals of community, politics and prisons. Yet, according to a recent news publication, "[in the state of California] the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) funnels hundreds of millions of dollars to construct prisons and jails - and many have been pitched as 'mental health treatment facilities'."... "It should come as no surprise that the BSCC is mostly composed of cops: Jeffery Beard, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections, Sheriffs, probation officers, and chiefs of police."... "It is not shocking when that group of people thinks that the best way to invest in mental health treatment is to build shiny new jails."(1)
What is termed pathological and rooted in psychosis in Amerikka's systems of injustice and unjust forensic psychology are in fact political offenses in nature. Such people incriminated and imprisoned should not be civilly nor criminally committed at all. "Mental health treatment... [should be provided and] funded in the community"(1); preferably by a community of communists. "We need to stop pretending that prisons solve the violence in our communities, or we will never actually end that harm or end mass incarceration."(2)
Onward! in psychiatric prison abolition efforts, and even more so the world-wide abolition of the parasite imperialism.
MIM(Prisons) adds: This writer correctly identifies a problem with Amerikan prisons that is actually pervasive throughout imperialist society: the use of psychiatry to label people as mentally ill because they do not conform to capitalist behaviors and values. As we explained in the ULK article Mental Health: A Maoist Perspective:
"In imperialist prisons, the ambiguity of diagnosing people as mentally ill becomes very pronounced. Part of the problem is that imprisonment causes mental health problems, so people who may not have had symptoms that would lead to a diagnosis often develop them. Yet it is not in the oppressor's interests to recognize this problem, so staff feel that they must draw a line between the truly ill and the "fakers." Rather than seeing the prisons as causing mental illness, they see people acting out for attention in contrast to those who were born with "real" mental illness. Such silly exercises allow them to keep some prisoners sedated while pushing others to suicide."
Ultimately the purpose of prisons is social control, and the purpose of mental health facilities is the same. They are another tool of this social control which targets oppressed nations within U.$. borders. We must expose these facilities and fight against the torture that this comrade describes.
I'm responding to the article "Summing Up September 9 Protests" from ULK 41. I became aware of United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) Day of Peace and Solidarity from my August issue of ULK. I fasted on September 9, but it was done in a custom as Ramadan. This year I will fast according to UFPP custom. Solidarity means working or struggling in a union, and I want to start with those who choose to participate. In solitary confinement here at this prison it is difficult to get the prisoners to partake in the fast because of their political immaturity. Many of them are gang members and they are in the hole for fighting amongst themselves. I try to talk with them about taking life more serious, but peer pressure is what forces many to stay in a state of illusion.
You asked what needs to be done about the September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity to broaden its impact. We must continue to promote that day and try to let prisoners see it as a day of unity that represents all prisoners in this racist country. They need to view it as a so-called holiday for prisoners throughout this country. Try to promote to them that this is their day in solidarity with the brothers or comrades at Attica, who lost their lives for better conditions in prisons. Being in captivity since the mid-seventies, I learned that this new generation of prisoners doesn't appreciate the sacrifices those made decades ago. I was labeled as a ring leader and spent over 3.5 years in the hole for being one of the peace makers during the Camp Hill spontaneous uprising.
I understand that not everyone can fast for health reasons, and most individuals can't afford to risk losing their prison jobs because that's the only income they receive. Therefore, you must come up with an alternative so that everyone can still support the cause of September 9 in their own way, because you don’t want anyone to feel as though they can't be part of the September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity because of not fasting or needing to work. Hopefully we can have a larger participation this year. I'm looking forward to it and I will definitely spread the word.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer is responding to the article we published summing up the September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity 2014, which saw a decrease in reported participation. We asked for input on how we should proceed with that action. We agree with promoting this as a day of solidarity with the comrades in the Attica struggle, and we encourage everyone to participate in building peace, by networking, putting a moratorium on fighting, and educating others on the necessity of peace. This is something that can be done regardless of whether you take up the fasting and work strike, by reaching out to educate others about the Attica struggle and our work today and why we need to build peace between individuals and groups throughout the prisons. If we can have this one day with no conflict between prisoners, that would be a great victory in demonstrating what is possible, and we can use that to build lasting peace. A critical part of this is education: our activists need to be well-educated themselves on the history of this struggle, so that leading up to, and on, September 9 they can in turn educate others. To this end we've put together a study pack for everyone building the United Front for Peace in Prisons, which includes historical information about Attica as well as organizing materials for September 9. Write to us for a copy. Let's make 2015 the most productive Day of Peace and Solidarity yet!
There is a plague in my community - self hate we call it A dis-ease of media color programming Jimmy killed Bobby for walking on Mr. Brown's street Bobby's brother killed Jimmy for killing Bobby Mr. Brown's K-9s killed 160,000 in California alone and the numbers are still rising! I said: THERE IS A PLAGUE IN MY COMMUNITY!!! Sistah Susie didn't like here hair So she bought some chemicals and dog fur To make her hair look like Mr. Brown's daughter's hair Sistah Susie didn't like her eye color So she bought some plastic eyes from Mr. Brown's wife's store To make her eyes appear the color of Mrs. Brown's eyes Sistah Susie didn't like her skin color, breasts, stomach, lips, nails, nose, ass, language, culture, attitude So she bought & changed bought & changed bought & changed, until... Sistah Susie didn't like me no mo She said: You talk with double negatives - ebonics What she talkin bout!! I ain't got no negatives - ebonics - whatever! Damn plague! I ain't hardly got a Sistah no mo Doctor say them chemicals were "kau-ze-genic" or sumthin The col-e-jins breasts leaked he say Damn plague!!
by a South Carolina prisoner January 2015 permalink
While reading what a California prisoner said in ULK 41, I was disappointed to see that the Muslim prisoners failed to meet their obligation in supporting the solidarity movement in support of the oppressed people of Palestine. Therefore, I decided to put together a petition here in hopes that we could at least show our support by signing a piece of paper.
Although I initially drafted the petition for the Muslim community here, there were a couple of non-Muslim brothers who signed it as well. And just as the California brother was met with some opposition, I too encountered quite a few "brothers" who were either afraid to sign or just didn't care about the plight and fight of the Palestinian people.
However, I collected thirty signatures and I do believe that I could have gotten more, but I really don't have access to the yard as some other prisoners do. There are a few of us here that are true and tested soldiers and we are trying to bring forth some political and social awareness, though most of us are learning as we go.
The petition reads:
A Statement of Unity and Solidarity with the Palestinian People, from Muslim Prisoners in South Carolina (Note: Non-Muslims signed as well)
As prisoners of good conscience we reject the genocide and slaughter which has hystorically been imposed on the people of Palestine and which is currently being played out by the Jewish state ever since the creation of I$rael in 1948. And while the Amerikan imperialists and their general citizenry and population have found us guilty of crimes against civil society, we prisoners likewise find them guilty of crimes against humynity for their collusion with the state of I$rael to exterminate the Palestinian nation.
Within these walls we are as yet powerless to tap into the potential of the imprisoned lumpen, but we are not yet powerless to sign a piece of paper to denounce the state of I$rael and their support in the United $tates. Therefore with this declaration we angrily express our indignation with the state of Israel for committing genocide, and the Israeli people for allowing it to happen in the 21st century after vowing "never again."
MIM(Prisons) adds: We had previously reported on the relative success of a campaign to support Palestine led by United Struggle from Within following the latest flurry of attacks by I$rael. Due to timing and mail issues only a small number of USW leaders were notified of the campaign at first. It is good to see that the campaign continues to gain support across the U.$. prison population. This is internationalism in action, recognizing the interconnectedness between all oppressed nations under imperialism.
This comrade wrote that they are "as yet powerless to tap into the potential of the imprisoned lumpen." Yet it is actions just like the Palestine petition which help open the door to develop the potential of our imprisoned comrades. Even having access to a small number of people, as in this author's case, we can start the very first steps toward building a bigger movement against oppression and imperialism. Discussing an international act of imperialist aggression with others, and asking them to take a small step toward making a statement against it, is valuable for laying the foundation for bigger things to come.
I, an honorable member of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, send you all my undying love, strength and sacrifice. On 14 December 2014, the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility (CCRCF) Pod 2 erupted in an all-out war between the "Folks nation" and the "Peoples nation." Many of us were asleep when it started, including myself. Being who I am and my obligation to my people, I did what I had to do. The fight resulted in 2 of us going to the emergency room. I received 8 stitches and 4 staples in 2 different places on my head.
A few days prior to this incident a few of us were discussing topics I was reading to them from ULK 41. Many of us were housed together years ago in three of the most violent prisons in Mississippi (Mississippi State Prison Unit 32, East Mississippi Correctional Facility and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility), all on security threat group status and high risk. It was the ACLU, prison activists, and the knowledge, wisdom and encouragement from MIM(Prisons) that helped close Unit 32 down and move me to a minimum security prison, like CCRCF. It also took good behavior as well.
After the fight was over and I was being transferred back to the prison from the hospital, the Lieutenant and Chief were asking me what pod I felt more secure in. I told them I wanted to go back where I was. They said I was crazy and didn't want to put me back where I had been housed. They asked me why I wanted to go back, I said it's where I live, we can handle ourselves. This is an issue between the Folks and Peoples, not the pigs.
What came to mind was the "Don't Loot, Organize!" article by 1st Crown of Black Order Revolutionary Organization (BORO) that was in ULK 41. This is just what we did; we allowed ourselves to work out our problems and did what was necessary to keep the pigs out of our biz. They're more interested in who's got what and who's doing what. The day after the fight, the goon squad did a major shakedown, looking for anything we weren't supposed to have. Of course, the Warden made the news that day and said it was a riot that started from one individual being a bully and was run off the zone. We all know that the American Correctional Association just passed through this facility and he didn't want to look bad, so he lied.
I agree with the point BORO made: change won't happen overnight. It will take time and we will make mistakes. As long as we can come together with understanding that we're all facing the same struggles, we must resolve our issues peacefully if possible.
It's been over one week since this fight and I'm honored to say that all of us have peace and unity. No one talks about that day negatively. Our talks are of how we can work together in overcoming any obstacles we may face as we struggle to remain free from oppression. We stand in solidarity and unity. I pray that all of you in other prisons around the world can build a united front and that you all have peace behind bars. King love yesterday, today, tomorrow and always.
MIM(Prisons) adds: This an impressive example of what the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) wrote in their founding statement, "we are already 'united' — in our suffering and our daily repression." This quick turn around of hostilities into unity reflects the consciousness among those imprisoned at CCRCF.
There is no doubt that the presence of well-organized lumpen organizations (LOs) contributed to conditions to make this step toward unity a real possibility. This example is why we uphold the progressive aspects that are found in the majority of LOs. Comrades within LOs who want to develop the United Front for Peace in Prisons should work with us to develop the progressive aspects of their organizations into practical protocols for building the united front.
In California we have 55% of any incoming money taken away, then another 45% taken out under the cloak of obligatory fees. So if your family sends $20 you get $8, minus another 45% and you are left with $5 and some change. This is ridiculous and should be challenged just like the amount of money a prisoner is paid an hour: 10-30 cents. Really if we were on the street we'd get minimum wage. A business owner would be in court if found out to be paying their employees 30 cents an hour.
The citizens have been led to believe prisoners don't need money because the state pays for everything. To these people I say eat our meals for 4 days and tell me if you don't want more to eat. Here's an example: if your lips chap and skin drys and you go to the doctor for an ointment they tell you that you have to buy that at canteen. Well if you don't have any money to go to canteen you're shit out of luck. If you're lactose intolerant there's no diet for that. They say just don't eat what you can't eat. Well you do that and you're shorting yourself of mandatory calories you're supposed to receive each day. Same with allergies to fish, peanut butter, etc. The state doesn't provide deodorant and lotion and hair grease or shampoo. So what's one to do?
The restitution is supposed to be for the victim. Do they get a check every time the prison deducts money from money sent in? Hell no! People wake up, we need to fight this money hungry place called prison which is making a killing off our sweat and prisoner's family sweat.
MIM(Prisons) responds: As we've written before, prisons across the country are paying prisoners pennies (or nothing at all). This is not just a way to keep prisoners totally dependent on their captors while locked up, but also makes it harder for released prisoners to get on their feet. No one leaves prison with money in their pockets. And we know that finding a job and housing as an ex-con is far from easy. But the prison system is counting on this as the revolving doors of incarceration help keep the prisons full and the criminal injustice system employees earning good wages.
We don't agree that the prison is "making a killing" off the labor of prisoners and the family money. In reality prisons are a money-losing operation subsidized by the state. The only people benefiting financially are the employees with fat paychecks and the few private enterprises that get to hire prisoners to do work that other Amerikans don't want or won't do so cheaply. Prisons themselves don't make a profit, but lots of individuals and other corporations are benefiting greatly from this huge subsidized humyn warehousing for social control.
The simple minds try to tell me that we are not at war Had to cover up my mouth with a wet rag cause the chemicals seeped thru the cell door I know there was a reason behind why it was sprayed I'm trying to fight for my rights so we won't get played But these robots have no brains nor conscience So they waited for the captain to okay Cause its fuck me which fucks us cause they got to get payed Been sprayed too many times that I've lost count Plenty nights I've layed with burns all over my body Orange stains all over these walls, sinks and sheets Hunger strikes just so we can get something decent to eat
Pushing my mattress towards the door and their battling ram came rattling thru For what?!? I ain't even gon' lie, been fighting so long at times I forget why Losing family cause they don't understand all I got left is my sanity But they simple minded cause they think I'm fighting cause of my vanity Immune to their chemicals and their tactics ain't up to date Sprayed so many times I don't even need nothing to cover up my face Sprayed too many times that the orange colors have become a part of my DNA Prayed a lot of times but god seemed to look the other way Muthafuckas screaming telling me the team on their way!!! Six geared up men against one plus their paint ball gun But before they enter they throw a bomb in the cell I'm looking in these soldiers' eyes and they looking in a warrior's eyes And all of us are nervous as hell
Click is the sound of the door They rush in with shield in hand trying to take me to the floor Once they get me down they sneak their shots in But I shouldn't have it any other way Cause their cowardly blows keep me fighting for another day
In Missouri, our complaints are easily silenced; the caseworker simply throws the grievance form in the trash. A prisoner has no way to prove the form was ever even submitted. This tactic is especially prevalent in segregation units.
I wonder what state has the best grievance system. I certainly hope it isn't Missouri, because ours is too easily sabotaged. I do not have any experience with other states' procedures, but I did see a grievance form for Arizona's procedure belonging to a prisoner in Missouri on interstate compact. It looked better than Missouri's, mainly because the prisoner keeps a copy.
Will comparing states grievance procedures in a court case be effective in bringing about change? I am willing to entertain the possibility, but how will we know what state has the best procedure? The Prisoners' Legal Clinic will need to form a team of comrades from the various states to discuss the differences and their experiences.
MIM(Prisons) Legal Coordinator adds: We don't rely on the Amerikkkan court system for our ultimate liberation, but while we're stuck here in the belly of the beast we try to use the courts to our advantage in our revolutionary organizing. A long-term project of United Struggle from Within and the Prisoners' Legal Clinic (PLC) is the campaign to ensure our grievances are addressed. Our subscribers have been submitting petitions to prison administrators, prisoner advocacy groups, and the Federal government in several states, some for years. These petitions notify the prisoncrats of all the corrupt ways grievances are being mishandled and misused on the ground.
In some states, we've had success with our grievance petitions. Other states have come down with more creativity with their repression. In those states that don't respond to the petitions, a lawsuit will likely be necessary to push this struggle further.
This author discusses the tactic of comparing grievance procedures to see which states have more reliable remedies for administrative relief, and using this information in a lawsuit to push your own state to adopt these tactics.
It is vital to keep a copy of the grievance in any case and in any system. If the system does not allow the you to keep a receipt or copy of the grievance, then it is much more difficult to track a grievance and prove that it was submitted. This of course makes it much easier for the grievance to end up in the trash.
As we're looking forward to the development of the campaign to have our grievances addressed in several states, we can start discussing legal tactics to use in a lawsuit. Besides ensuring that a prisoner is able to keep proof that a grievance was submitted, what other procedural reforms would improve the grievance process?
Of course procedural safeguards won't always prevent the grievance from being "lost," or keep it from being used as an excuse to harrass the persyn filing the complaint. But the more protections we can build into the grievance processes, the better we can protect ourselves from abuses — abuses of the grievance process, and in prison generally.
In response to the article in Under Lock & Key 41, "Summing Up September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity", I'd like to propose that this solidarity should be recognized 9-13 September annually, not just 9 September. The Attica uprising was initiated on 9 September 1971 and was quelled on 13 September 1971.
Those who aren't knowledgable of what caused the Attica uprising from 9-13 September 1971 should start learning. Our self-discipline to learn is the first step to standing outside these imperialistic boxes. Their box is abnormal and inhuman to the poor of all nationalities. Those in control units/SHU can contribute by conducting study classes on their gates (i.e. bars). Learn why the Attica uprising occurred and what made the courageous comrades make the sacrifices they've made without hesitation.
Comrades, to embrace solidarity, we are obligated to hold hands. Solidarity initiates within the individual. Solidarity cannot be reached globally when it's not achieved at least partially within self. This is a lifelong commitment. Although we may not be around to see the change — so what! We have a new generation that's looking up to us. They're the next generation of revolutionaries. We are to set the tone for them and this is done by revolutionizing our own thought pattern of selfishness. Selfishness and unity will never get along; they're lifelong adversaries.
So to win we want to join hands genuinely and let our adversary know we're unified in solidarity because we have learned what we're fighting for. We know what we're seeking, what sacrifices will be made, and the cause of our fight. We know why sacrifices have to be made.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade is writing about the article we published in ULK summing up the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) annual September 9 commemoration of the Attica uprising. The organizers call on activists to take this day to promote the UFPP by building unity with fellow captives, and to demonstrate resistance to the criminal injustice system by fasting, refraining from work, ceasing all prisoner-on-prisoner hostilities, and engaging only in solidarity actions. This past year the demonstration involved fewer actions than in the past and we are asking all United Front activists to consider what we should do differently in 2015. This comrade's call for education is well timed as this is something we need to be spreading now, well before September, if we want to build a movement of supporters and activists. Write in for the UFPP organizaing pack.