The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 32]
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Bleeding Eyes

My eyes bleed of day to day oppressing
I sit and think where the war began
Is it prisoner on prisoner?
Or is it the deception my eyes hold full of blood
And pain asking questions like will we all get along
And realize it's something been took every day that pass
Will anyone hear the cry of the real POWs
Or will I look in another brother's eyes only
To hear a threat that will lead to this
Administration patting each other on the back
With words saying "now that is what we need"
Another POW lost his life September 2012
Rest in peace Comrade, forever you will be
Known as a brother fighting to see freedom
This day to day oppressing we only hurting
Each other with tears full of pain and suffering
Prisoners of war, I am truly my brothers'
and Sisters' keeper. Knowledge Knowledge.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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What Would U Do?

What should I do in these days & times
Where my people's in a daze, drunk,
Submissive-to-the-oppressor state of mind.
Plus all he authorized, orchestrated & given
False lies as a religion wondering why caged up like
A zoo animal trapped in a prison,
Amongst our own honor, respect & love for our people missing
To me it don't matter what set or what nation cause 2 me
U Black Tribe
Just vision what all we can accomplish if we stand
For the cause of equality, justice & righteous communism
Stand together & ride
Maybe I'm tripping or you don't see what I see
Black on Black love, power of the people & undivided
Unity
It's time to seize the power over us that they
Maintained for years.
Raped my ancestor sisters, killed my brothers
Brutality for running away from your plantations
& refusing to work on your cotton fields.
Never would you change my outlook of being a
Communist until my heart cease
I'm always there ears & eyes wide open
Waiting for the opportunity to present itself so
The process of revolution & confirmed science that
Won in the past can repeat
Peace

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[Mental Health] [Spanish] [ULK Issue 36]
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Solo Estoy Haciendo mi Trabajo, El Experimento de Prisión de Stanford

Un artículo publicado recientemente desafia el concepto sicológico de "prejuicio de conformidad" que evolucionó del experimento de prisión realizado por Zimbardo y del experimento Maestro/Estudiante de Milgram.(1) El artículo establece conexiones a un trabajo reciente sobre la opresión llevada a cabo por los Nazis en la Alemania de Hitler, el cual concluye en general que la voluntad de las personas para lastimar u oprimir a otros en situaciones semejantes es "menos sobre gente que sigue ordenes a ciegas y más acerca de conseguir que las personas crean en al importancia de lo que están haciendo."

En el experimento de prisión de Stanford (1971) estudiantes fueron asignados papeles de guardias y prisioneros en un simulacro, pronto de que los dos grupos tomaron el comportamiento típico de su papel, con los guardias tratando a los prisioneros con tal severidad que el experimento se detuvo prematuramente. MIM(Prisiones) ha utilizado esto como ejemplo de que la opresión es sistemática y no podemos reparar las cosas simplemente con emplear los guardias adecuados, mas bien debemos cambiar el sistema. En ULK19, otro camarada se refirió al artículo en una discusión de como el comportamiento de la gente en prisión está condicionado.(2) La conclusión más determinista que la gente se lleva de esto es que la gente se comportará mal para conformarse a las expectativas. El experimento Milgram (1963) involucró a participantes que eran el "maestro," siendo fuertemente animado a que aplicara falsos choques eléctricos a "estudiantes" que contestaren preguntas incorrectamente. La conclusión aquí era que los humanos seguirán ordenes ciegamente en vez de pensar por si mismos si lo que están haciendo está bien.

"Esto pudo ser la defensa a la que se inclinaron cuando buscaban minimizar su culpabilidad" (31), pero la evidencia sugiere que funcionarios como Eichmann tenían un buen entendimiento de lo que estaban haciendo y tomaban orgullo en la energía y aplicación que ellos le traían a su trabajo.(1)

El análisis en este artículo reciente es mas apropiado para un análisis de clase social. Como los autores señalan, está bien establecido que los alemanes como Adolf Eichmann, entusiásticamente participaron en el régimen Nazi, y es la evaluación de MIM(Prisones) evaluación que existe una clase y perspectiva nacional que le permitió a los alemanes ver lo que estaban haciendo como bueno para ellos y su gente.

Mientras que nuestro análisis del experimento de prisión de Stanford se presta para promover la necesidad de cambio sistemático, esto no sucede con la sicología que surgió de él. El concepto "prejuicio de conformidad" respalda la teoría del gran líder, la teoría de la historia, en donde figuras como Hitler y Stalin eran todopoderosos y omniscientes y los millones de personas que los apoyaban eran robots sin mente. Esta teoría evidentemente disuade un análisis de condiciones y de las fuerzas sociales que interactúan y cambian esas condiciones. En contraste, observamos la teoría psicológica mas reciente en este artículo como afin hacia un análisis psicológico que incluye clase y nación.

Como la mayoría de nuestros lectores reconocerán rápidamente, guardias de prisión en la vida real frecuentemente hacen sus cosas con gran entusiasmo. Aquellos guardias que no creen que se necesita golpear a los prisioneros para crear orden n o los maltratan. Claramente los diferentes comportamientos son decisiones conscientes basadas en las creencias del individuo, como los autores de este artículo afirman. Existe un fuerte componente de clase y nación en el quien se manda a prisión y quien trabaja en prisiones. Esto ayuda a justificar la metodología más opresiva en la mente del personal de prisión. A pesar de ser superior a las conclusiones originales que se han hecho, este artículo reciente está limitado al dominio de la psicología misma y así falla en proveer una explicación al comportamiento de grupos de gente con una posición diferente en la sociedad.

No deberíamos limitar nuestro análisis a guardias de prisión y policías, los cuales son los ejemplos obvios del problema de la nación opresiva. Ward Churchill recordó el nombre de Eichmann en su infame pieza sobre el segundo ataque al World Trade Center para mencionar aquellos que trabajaron en las torres gemelas. Como aquellos americanos, Adolf Eichmann no era un asesino, sino un burócrata que estaba dispuesto a tomar decisiones que le costaron la muerte a millones de personas. Churchill escribió:

"Apelar a la 'ignorancia' — después de todo una palabra derivada de 'ignorar' — es menos que una excusa entre esta élite relativamente bien educada. Esto fue hasta el punto de que muchos de ellos, teniendo éxito en las actividades en que estaban implicados, no eran conscientes de los costos y consecuencias a los demás. Esto ocurrió por el negarse absolutamente a ver."(3)

Los autores de este artículo reciente recalcan que el llevar a cabo algo como lo que los Nazis hicieron en Alemania requiere creatividad apasionada para sobresalir y reclutar a otros que creían en lo que estaban haciendo. Es lo que llamamos el factor subjetivo en el cambio social. Alemania se enfrentaba a condiciones objetivas de aflicción económica debido a haber perdido sus colonias en la primera guerra mundial, pero tomo el desarrollo subjetivo del Socialismo Nacional para crear el movimiento que transformó la gran parte del mundo. Es por eso que nuestro camarada, quien escribió sobre psicología y condicionalmente, estaba en lo cierto al recalcar el conocimiento es necesario para contrarrestar la opresión institucional que los prisioneros enfrentan.(2) Transformando el factor subjetivo, la conciencia del ser humano, es mucho más complicada que una necesidad inherente para conformarse u obedecer ordenes. Periodos de gran cambio en la historia ayudan a demostrar el elemento dinámico de conciencia grupal el cual es mucho mas flexible de lo que la psicología determinista nos haría creer. Esto es el por que la psicología nunca podrá determinar verdaderamente el comportamiento humano. Es estudiando, clase, naciones, genero y otros intereses de grupo que podemos predecir y cambiar el curso de historia.

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[Organizing] [Washington]
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Ideas for Uniting in Washington for July 8

MIM Peace Unity Growth
Here in prison, particularly my side of the map in Washington state, there is a struggle for unity amongst the oppressed classes, due to racism and the overall lack of political and class consciousness as a whole. Merging together for the sake of strength and unification in order to combat these oppressive conditions seems bleak; unless the heads of the respective oppressed classes tune back in from their myopic ignorance.

It is not hard to recognize, while we're fighting amongst each other in this pseudo-war to obtain megalomaniac status and prestige - as the elite gang or organization - in the shadows lurk the fascist pigs titillating on our destruction. The time for us to wake up and smell the reality is now, but how do we go about it when egotistical individuals refuse to smell what's real?

Well, someone of level headedness, statesmanship and respect from each and every oppressed group, needs to act as the voice in order for a meeting of the minds to occur. At this meeting/sit-down understandings between groups have to be established, in a manner potently stated by Comrade George, in his book, Blood In My Eye, not quoting but referring to: We need to settle our quarrels and come together on behalf of not just ourselves, but the people.

Washington state, despite its fascist racist cops, is a beautiful place to do time (of course only if you have to be locked up). But don't get it twisted, it's real and heads get busted and sent to the ER just like any other place around the united snakes. I'm saying that to say, the beauty of doing time comfortably in the belly of the beast has to have more of a meliorate feeling in order for us all to coexist, and rid the pigs of their elementary tactic of "divide and conquer."

I am only offering this polemic style dictum as one of many possible solutions to help end the hostilities in the state of Washington; and hopefully to potentially create unity amongst the oppressed classes in an attempt to join the other brothers and sisters of the struggle, across the country held behind enemy lines, who want and seek change in this perpetual system of corruption.

July 8th is right around the corner, so in a brazen fashion, we the oppressed classes/groups of Washington State prisons, need to draw up our own core demands for the pigs to abide by. Or we shall, as the brothers in Cali have, orchestrate peaceful non-violent demonstrations in order to show the prisons and/or facility administration that we're as serious as the threat of a 9.0 earthquake.

At the end of the day, it is up to us my brothers and sisters, especially when the time is ripe and the levels of consciousness/political development around the country in prisons have risen. Ending with a quote from Comrade George: "to expect that someone else will take the full responsibility for our own liberation is suicide."


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's call for unity is consistent with the United Front for Peace in Prisons that many behind the bars have been working to build. The first point of the five UFPP Principles is Peace: "WE organize to end the needless conflicts and violence within the U.$. prison environment. The oppressors use divide and conquer strategies so that we fight each other instead of them. We will stand together and defend ourselves from oppression."

As this comrade points out, there are many strategies that will help achieve this peace and unity. The July 8th date that is mentioned above is something prisoner's in California are organizing around. MIM(Prisons) has been working with the USW California Council to develop a list of demands that embody what we feel are minimal requirements to meet basic humyn rights for prisoners in California. We encourage prisoners in other states to take up this task as well.

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[Abuse] [Coffield Unit] [Texas]
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Texas Pigs Break Policies to Torture Prisoners

I am writing to update you on my current situation and the goings on around the gulags. On 1/23/2013 Delta wing was hit unexpectedly with a shakedown during which I was found in possession of a large shard of glass. This is a level three offense so I was left in the dayroom for several hours awaiting placement on L wing. Around 5:15pm John Ellis, who the porkchops bow to as a sergeant, brought four of his cronies to escort me to L wing. I have had words with Ellis in the past and he has threatened to smash me.

When we get to L wing I was greeted to murmurs of disapproval and a couple of porkchops who knew me shaking their heads and saying "there goes the peace and conformity." This brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye as it's good to know I haven't been forgotten. The porkchop assigned to the position of turnkey was asked by Ellis what cells were open, to which he responded quickly "121 is open". Immediately I realized it was a set up and mentally prepared for a physical assault. It was not a physical assault but a mental assault. 121 is the hotbox, a small cage with plexiglass surrounding the outside designed for mental torture and abuse. My placement in the hot box was proof that the porkchops disregard their own rules and regulations as possession of a weapon is not behavior that merits placement in the hotbox. Ellis did this in an attempt to break my concentration and push me into conformity. Ellis said "121 sounds good" and the rest of the porkchops conformed to his intentional breaking of TDCJ policy.

When the cell door was closed Ellis told me to "have fun in the shit water." Two nights earlier an HIV positive prisoner flooded the cell with water mixed with his blood, urine, and feces. To be honest I noticed water, but floods are typical on L wing. That night my request for cleaning materials was ignored. The porkchop working the wing was Casey Ellis and he refused to bring me my property and I was forced to sleep in boxers on a metal bunk with no type of clothing or covering, and the temperature dropped to around 30 degrees.

I woke up and started making noise by kicking on the door. When I was finally successful in getting the attention of a porkchop he threatened to spray gas on me. When he realized I was calling his bluff he asked me what I wanted and I told him I needed my property. He then told me he was under orders by John Ellis to not give me anything, but because it was their Friday he would personally inventory my stuff and get it to me before he left which he did. The next night I asked everyone who walked by for cleaning supplies but no one would give them to me. That morning I finally got someone to listen to my demand to be moved out of 121, and I was put in a regular cell.

After describing the specific abuse brought down on me, I'd like to bring attention to the contradictions within the Ad-Seg policy (AD) - 03.50 as authorized by Rick Thaler CID Director.

Section IV 2. states "Indoor recreational areas shall be equipped with a minimum of one exercise mat, one chinning bar, a game table, a toilet, and a drinking fountain." I have been on the Coffield Unit over three years and have not seen an exercise mat ever. There is a urinal but no toilet, therefore defecation is a process of torture because a prisoner who may need to defecate cannot and is forced to hold it for an hour or until the prisoner gets the attention of the wing chop and then the chop may refuse to let him out. Further, several of the Ad-Seg wings including Delta and L wing have either non working urinals and/or a non-working sink. It is also per policy that the outside recreation yards are furnished with basketballs, which they are not, as the porkchops are known to stand in the hallway and continuously dribble the balls.

This now brings me to Section IV F "wholesome meals." The policy states "administrative segregation offenders shall have access to nutritional meals in accordance with the food service policy. Safety precautions shall be followed in serving meals pursuant to PO-07.006 administrative segregation officer." There's no such thing as a nutritional meal on Coffield, the supposed diet for a healthy meal is usually an undercooked hamburger or pork patty and a small serving of undercooked vegetables. The regular trays are no better because the kitchen workers steal our food, bag it up and sell it back to us and the SS help them get over on us. Now I don't knock the hustle, but steal from porkchops not the prisoners. I'm doing a lot of research through TDCJ policies for more potential grievances to which I'll keep you informed on the outcome.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade does a good job of exposing the abuse at the hands of Coffield Unit pigs. And we need to document their violations of their own policies, and use those policies to try to gain some livable conditions for our comrades. The grievance system is one battle we can sometimes use to win these victories. Though as is documented by our Texas fight to get [url-https://www.prisoncensorship.info/campaigns/TX/16] our grievances recognized, all too often the prison ignores legitimate grievances. Under Lock & Key is a good tool for exposure of this type of information, but our work doesn't stop there, we must educate everyone around us about the need to fight back, and the ties between the oppression in prison and the criminal injustice system as a whole, and the underlying system of imperialism. This is our day-to-day job as anti-imperialists.

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[Organizing] [Theory]
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Building a Vanguard in Prison

When lumpen and cadre unite
"The vanguard is quite simply the most advanced proletarian, the most scientifically correct element of society that actually exists." - MIM Theory 6

I am bringing this topic to the front lines within ULK, so that every prisoner can be appraised of the significance of a revolutionary vanguard. A comrade asked in ULK 29: "Does anyone know the function of a vanguard: how one is built and how it can be effectively employed?"

Within U.$. borders there have been genuine communist parties, and doing a little studying on communist movements will tell you that since Lenin ushered in a new era with the October 1917 revolution in Russia, many communist parties throughout the world proclaimed themselves to be the vanguards in their respective nations. Within U.$. borders we had the CP-USA in the 30s and 40s, while in 1962 PLP ushered itself in as the new vanguard after CP-USA fell into revisionism. Then the Black Panther Party (BPP) came on the scene in 1966 and "became the greatest vanguard party in north American history before being smashed."

Each party aforementioned had the potential to bringing a revolution if circumstances were present. Typically a vanguard would be found in a communist party who has the most correct interpretation of the concrete reality of its nation, and the proletarian ideology to take the path required to attain the ultimate goal of each and every proletarian party, the seizure of power for the proletariat. Of course, this isn't a matter that is handled with spontaneity, putschist revolts, etc. A vanguard party focuses on organizing the masses, as no revolution is capable of success without the masses and their support. As Chairman Mao Zedong once clearly put it:

"if there is to be a revolution, there must be a revolutionary party. Without a revolutionary party, without a party built on the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and in the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary style it is impossible to lead the working class and the broad masses of the people to defeat imperialism and its running dogs."

Furthermore he expresses the following:

"the correctness or otherwise of the ideological and political line decides everything. When the party's line is correct, we have everything. If we lack men then we will have them, if we lack guns we will find them, if we don't have power, we will conquer it, if the line is incorrect, we will lose what we have conquered."

Putting emphasis on a party's political line is what will develop the party and the masses to spark a revolution. One cannot put too much importance or sole reliance on a party being the vanguard as some fall into revisionism and once that occurs it is left to other parties or cell movements to lead the masses. For instance, behind these walls, especially in California, there is no political party organizing prisoners. The closest thing to it is United Struggle from Within (USW) under MIM(Prisons)'s leadership. Although scattered in various prisons and/or blocks, each USW comrade has the potential to organize and politicize other prisoners.

There's no doubt that USW is the pathway and the first step to uniting prisoners i.e. the lumpen into a class. As noted in ULK 29: "A class is defined by it's material conditions, specifically in relation to production and distribution, and each class has an ideology that arises from those conditions." And we must recognize that ideology should be the main factor that unites, otherwise we would just be eclectic and crippled amongst political issues. Every prisoner should strive to get acquainted with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, we must be up on the theories of Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong and then contribute our revolutionary knowledge to the application of our current circumstances. Every prisoner interested in revolutionary politics should do revolutionary work.

On the basis of building or employing a vanguard, I will leave that to MIM(Prisons) to enlighten us, and I suggest for further reading on this prisoners should check out V.I. Lenin's "What is to be Done".


MIM(Prisons) adds: We point people to the essay Maoism Around Us for more history on the development of MIM and MIM(Prisons). At this point we do not see MIM(Prisons) as a vanguard party, but we recognize the need to develop such a party within U.$. borders at some point in the future. We have laid out the five principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) to unite all who can be united at the mass level in U.$. prisons as we see this as our key strategic goal at this time. Where advanced elements exist, inside or outside of prison, we promote organizing local cells that have similar standards to a vanguard party, but maintain organizational independence from other cells to promote better security and self-reliance. As this comrade says, we should stress developing ideological unity at this stage.


Related Articles:
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[National Oppression] [California]
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Debating National Oppression and SNY Status

I am writing to express my concerns with your paper. I am 100% for a true United Front. I do not judge people by the color of their skin. I am white and I'm proud of the fact. I come from Oakland CA and in school was a target just because I was white. My family did not have money.

In a story in ULK 26 May/June 2012 you claim that poor whites searching for identity turn to white supremacist and we find our identity in the false belief of their supremacy in the color of our skin. Well my friend, I refute your belief and you're just way off the mark. I came up in Oakland, CA in the 60s, 70s, 80s when Oakland was at war most of the war was drug war, but in the 60s and 70s there were political wars and protest from the Blacks. There was one movement after another.

I for one never claim that I am better than anyone because I'm white, but growing up in Oakland, because of my white skin I was jumped. In spite of that, to this day I do not judge people by the color of their skin as you clearly do.

Now about ULK 24, 2012 page 3 concerning Special Needs Yards (SNY). I came into the system in the 80s and sure there was no such thing as SNY back then, they called it PSU. CDCR has always housed child molesters, rapists and snitches and they programmed on the GP yards for years, and for the most part we ran them off the yard. SNY was not put in place for that kind of people, SNY was put in place for prisoners who got sick and tired of killing each other. The system back in the day was run by a bunch of older guys who kept the youngsters in line. Well you had a bunch of kids coming into the system, yes more Blacks and Latinos, who were in search of an identity. They would join these prison gangs not knowing what they were getting into. Then you had a lot of kids on the streets looking at the drug dealers with all the money, cars, houses, women, so they joined up with their gang, then they come to prison for drug charges and as soon as they hit prison they have to prove themselves.

Now SNY came into play when people like myself said, wait why are we fighting each other and letting the system take more and more of our rights away from us, so they check in to PSU. But word got around on the GP yard that you can do your time without fear of death so SNY was formed. CDCR said OK that we now got these prisoners that want to drop out of the gangs, that's a win win for everyone. It took me until 2004 to check into SNY. I heard all races there stand as one. I said great. I think SNY has about 65% of the prison yards now, and about 80% of SNY prisoners stand as one voice, with 20% not ready or able to let go of the GP ways.

I can state I never had to debrief, I never had to tell on anyone, I am no sex offender. My position on sex offenders stands: they are still considered seriously damaged people that I myself stay away from. This person that sent you his BS about all SNY prisoners are weak and come to this side for better treatment is wrong.

I was in Corcoran as an SNY in the SHU and we all engaged in the hunger strike, we all signed numerous grievances and complaints to the administration, and as you know we didn't get all we requested but we did change things for the better. Yes CDCR needs to change its stand on SHU prisoners and I think this year will see more change.

Now when my SHU time was over they sent me to Ad-Seg pending transfer. Ad-Seg is a mix of SNY and GP. It was SNY prisoners who took the stand and boarded up, no GP took the stand but they enjoyed the outcome of our SNY work. We got our 3 showers each week back, we got hot meals with canteen.

We prisoners here in SNY do not get more privileges than GP. Our program is the same as GP except that they're locked down more because of the nonsense they're not willing to let go of. There has not been one lockdown since I got here six months ago, and that's because we still have guys who have disagreements but we don't try and kill each other, there are fist fights but it ends there.

So the program is the same, but we get more of it because we stand as one people and our fight is not with each other, our fight is to get out of prison as fast as we can. The way to shut down prisons is to not have prisoners to fill them. And the way that is done is for all prisoners to change their thinking, change their outlook on life and become better people no matter what color you are.

If prisoners would stop killing each other because of the color of their skin or where they're from there would be no need for SHU or Ad-Seg.

So before these so-called GP prisoners call all of us weak they need to think about the real facts. SNY in the next five years will be the new GP and these prisoners who want to hold on to the nonsense that keep them in prison will be locked away.

On this side of SNY we ask to be treated like humans and in most cases we are. When we stop fighting each other and put the paperwork in to bring back the programs needed to better our lives, then change comes.

I think we have the same goal in mind, unity and peace. I am willing to work to bring unity and peace to all prisoners no matter the color of your skin or where you are from. With dedication and determination we can change the system and make it work for us in a way to end business as we know it today. We need to reach out to those that will listen and work with us to bring down the number of people in the system.


MIM(Prisons) responds: First, we will address the question of unity and the interests of whites. We have always maintained that whites can be revolutionaries and can act in the interests of the oppressed. But we make statements about groups of people and their material interests. This individual white persyn may in fact really be willing to fight for the interests of all people, but whites as a group in the United $tates have demonstrated their material interests are aligned with the imperialists. And historically they have gone for fascism over revolution (See Sakai's book Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat). Examples of one white persyn in Amerika who claims not to judge people by skin color is not relevant to this scientific analysis. This is not about judging people for the color of their skin, it is about understanding the history of nations and national interests. We don't like Obama better as a President because he is Black, he's still the leader of the biggest terrorist government in the world. Nonetheless, we call on all white people to unite with the movement against national oppression both in the U.$. and globally, and we know some whites will be on our side.

On the SNY debate we have more unity with this prisoner. We agree that there are many individuals in SNY who are part of the anti-imperialist movement, fighting on the side of the oppressed, and not snitching or betraying people. But this letter goes too far in posing SNY as better than GP. Conditions are different in each state and even within states in each prison. We need to judge the actions of individuals rather than making sweeping assumptions about "all SNY prisoners are snitches" or "all GP prisoners are fighting each other."

We also do not agree that "If prisoners would stop killing each other because of the color of their skin or where they're from there would be no need for SHU or Ad-Seg." We maintain that control units are a tool of social control, not a legitimate punishment for prison violence. And so we do not blame the prisoners for the system that confines them and in fact encourages violence. We know that many prisoners in the SHU are locked up for their political organizing, not for violence. We should not perpetuate the myth of legitimacy around these control units.

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[Abuse] [Texas]
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Isolation and Torture in Texas

For eight days during December 2011, I was placed in a cell completely nude, and without any state or personal property what-so-ever, while outside temperatures fell down into the low 20 degree range, after having my face and head completely shaved at the direction of TDCJ officers. I was forced to sleep nude on the concrete floor, even as my cell was flooded by ice cold rainwater due to a leak in the ceiling, and the section exhaust fan was operated at night time increasing the ill effects of the cold temperatures.

My cell and person were subjected to a thorough search every two hours around the clock for the entire period by a team of TDCJ officers armed with tear gas, pepper spray, and billy clubs. The coercive language, verbal abuse and repeated threats of use of force and chemical agents upon refusal to exit my cell for shake-downs, or other failures to precisely follow orders, was constant. During the cell searches human feces was tracked all over the floor and bunk by officers and was never cleaned up, nor were cleaning supplies provided.

Security checks requiring a verbal or visual response were conducted every 30 minutes and cell lights were left on 24/7, inducing sleep deprivation. Blinds were installed over my cell door windows inducing sensory deprivation, and near constant banging, hammering, grinding, yelling and other sudden and loud noises created a barrage of audio-assaults that was contestant and nerve-wracking. On several occasions I was inappropriately punished with sub-standard food-loaf in place of regular meal trays, not justified by any offense, and I was forced to eat by hand after defecating while unable to clean myself due to a lack of soap, towels and toilet paper.

All recreation, showers and legal communication were denied. I was never charged nor convicted of any disciplinary offense and I assert that these actions by TDCJ officers, and at the authoritative direction of TDCJ prion administration, violated commonly accepted standards of custodial care as well as my civil rights under both the federal and Texas state constitutions, and, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.

I filed grievances on the abuse and ill treatment, however, I never received an official response, thereby denying me my constitutional right to due process and concurrently derailing my efforts at obtaining relief and administrative resolution.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This torture is often used by prison officials as punishment for prisoners who are fighting abuse and injustice, in an attempt to break their spirit and end their attempts to seek justice. This prisoner is now planning to file a civil rights lawsuit, after his attempts at administrative relief failed, and so we are happy to see that the torture did not stop him. But we know that these conditions, especially when faced long term in control units across the country, cause serious physical and mental harm. This is why the campaign to shut down control units is a critical battle for prisoners across the country.

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[Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 31]
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Texas Lawsuits Dismissed, Keep Filing Lawsuits

Since my earlier letter I have now come across many prisoners who are existing members. It is encouraging to know that other prisoners want a revolution recharge to Texas's prison environment. In my past years of confinement, in the units I have been assigned to, not many prisoners saw the need for revolutionary prison reform. On this unit, I am coming across more prisoners who are seeing the need and attempting through civil litigation to see this reform come about.

Texas still wants to deny prisoners the right to have the government redress our grievances for violations of our constitutional rights. The right of a prisoner to petition the government exists in theory only, but not in practice.

The poorer and less educated prisoners have to face a two-front battle just to get into court. As an indigent prisoner I have to fight access to courts officials just to get the legal correspondence supplies that I need to litigate my claims. After I get them into court I have to battle court authorities and judges just to keep them in.

When I write to judges of my treatment by officials I face retribution by other prison officials. Judges and court authorities want to deny my right to exercise my claims in court under proper due process and equal protection rights. If I had funds, family or friends who could help me out with legal correspondence supplies, then the prison officials would not be able to place me in a figurative full-body straitjacket.

It is so bad that many prisoners' claims being filed in court are being stolen right out of court by magistrate judges, dismissing lawsuits on which they do not have the right to render a final judgement. When prisoners appeal it, they send it to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. District court judges' judgements are nothing more than a court directed verdict. The rendered judgements do not fit the evidence filed in court in complaints, evidence and exhibits.

Prisoners in Texas have filed so many individual lawsuits that Texas does not want any more to be filed because, whether a lawsuit succeeds or fails, it leaves an electronic paper trail. Texas prison officials are scared that the feds will step in and take their prison system away. This to me is an encouraging sign so I say keep up the good work and soon we can see the Texas prison walls come crumbling down.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade that lawsuits are an important part of our current strategy to fight the criminal injustice system. But this will never bring about revolutionary change, because the legal system is a part of the criminal injustice system as a whole, as this comrade's experience demonstrates. The imperialists will never relinquish control of this critical part of their internal system of national oppression through legal battles. We can use their system against them to an extent, and even win some key battles in the legal arena, but we will do that as a part of the broader struggle which must build for independent revolutionary change.

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[Education] [ULK Issue 31]
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Unite thru ULK: Continue to Study and Struggle

Marx Proletarian Prisoners
Throughout the few years I have spent reading Under Lock & Key (ULK) it is apparent to me that many people behind these prison walls have come together, either to subscribe to ULK or express their opinions and expose conditions within their specific prisons. But this is just one aspect of the basis of a United Front, and does not constitute a quantum leap in our march towards building a politically conscious class within prison life itself.

Many comrades have expressed a need for sharing education, whether piecemeal or in study groups, and I have always been an advocate of such. But I always viewed other prisoners' lack of interest in holding political discussions as an obstacle for a United Front advancement. That was my subjective view until it finally dawned on me that there might be lack of interest wherever I was housed, but it was abundant in ULK.

Comrades taking the time to pick up an issue of ULK have started educating themselves on the political thoughts of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. In acquainting themselves and reading it they are in a process of studying. Furthermore those comrades who take it a step further to write essays, articles on specific topics, and/or express their opinions on other comrades' articles, can open up debates or collaborations for future tasks to be accomplished. By forming a study group within the lines of ULK by ULK subscribers and finally bringing up the other aspect of educating ourselves from grasping what we study, we acquire knowledge.

But our new-found education must be put into practice. We must apply what we have learned to our current conditions.

"Every study of Marxism shakes up people and the contradiction between the two world outlooks comes to the fore. Marxism gives hammer blows to the non-proletarian outlook and fuels the ideological force, as in every task, three stages each with its own contradiction, present themselves. At the beginning arises the contradiction between starting the study and not starting it. Starting up already constitutes a 50% advance." - Comrade Gonzalo from Peru.

Although I strongly encourage comrades to study the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, one cannot just narrow on that road. Many other topics/subjects are encouraged as well: legal news, winning 602s (grievances), fighting mail censorship, filing a writ of habeas corpus, etc. Any topic that's informative and helpful to our interests is an advanced step in our struggle.

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