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[Abuse] [Police Brutality] [Lanesboro Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 36]
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North Carolina Brutality on the Streets and in the Prisons

Two recent stories in Durham, North Carolina show a clear pattern of law enforcement and the judicial system overstepping its boundaries. On 15 December 2013, officer Markeith Council, a Wake County Jailer, was found guilty of "involuntary manslaughter," after he slammed a prisoner on his head, not once, but twice.(1) The evidence showed that the prisoner, who was unarmed, and weighed less than half that of the 290 lb Council, was unconscious after initially hitting the concrete floor. The autopsy showed a severe laceration to the prisoner's skull, and several crushed vertebrae in his neck. This prisoner was incarcerated for an open container, drug paraphernalia, and a failure to appear, crimes that apparently now carry a death sentence.

The officer was only sentenced to a term of 90 days, and will spend all of his time in protective custody, no doubt receiving special privileges from former co-workers.

In the second story, a Durham teen, Jesus "Chuy" Huerta, was shot to death while his hands were cuffed behind his back in the back of a police car, in police custody. The teen was shot in the head, after being searched by the officers, and not found to be carrying a weapon.

Here's the kicker: the police investigation determined that the teen shot himself in the side of the head while handcuffed in the back of the car. The reports were only released after protests.

During a candlelight vigil for Huerta, police in riot gear fired canisters of tear gas at mourners, and forced them to disperse.

In "Common Sense," Thomas Pain wrote: "Common sense should tell us that the powers which have endeavored to subdue us, are of all others, the most improper to defend us." The bourgeoisie cannot be reformed. Voting in new oppressors won't change things. The system is broken, it cannot be fixed. The oppressors, through reform, will only withdraw, make empty promises, and come back harder to crush the oppressed. Those afraid to endanger themselves don't realize that they are already in danger. We are in danger from a group that will stop at nothing to maintain a stranglehold on us.

Lanesboro Correctional Institution, in Anson County, North Carolina, has been locked down since a single prisoner, acting alone, cut an officer on 15 November 2013. The prisoner, to my understanding, isn't even at this camp anymore. For weeks prisoners were forced to shower in full restraints (handcuffs, shackles, black box, waist chains, locks), and the lock-down is still 24 hours a day. Prisoners are only allowed to leave their cells to shower, or to go to work. There is no recreation, and food trays are served in the cells. All other activities have been halted until further notice. There is no foreseeable end to this "institutional lockdown," and staff are still claiming "security reasons," even though there hasn't been another incident since 19 November 2013. Until prisoners learn to stand together, this is the way things will remain.

[UPDATE: A prisoner corrected the above report, changing November 19 to November 15. S/he reports they went to shower in handcuffs and the water was unusually cold, but they were not under full restraints, lock box, chains etc. As of 19 February 2014 they are still on modified lockdown, where they are allowed out of their cell 2 hours a day, 24 people at a time.]


MIM(Prisons) adds: This author is right that the incidents of violence on the streets and in the prisons are all related, and all part of a larger system of oppression that perpetuates the system of imperialism. This is a system that relies on the subjugation of some nations by others, both globally and within U.$. borders. The white nation has the power, and the oppressed nations in the United $tates are disproportionately locked behind bars, and victims of police brutality and murder. Even with a Black figurehead (Obama), the white nation still has the power and control. Statistics tell the story of the very few New Afrikans and [email protected] in positions of power (lackeys and figureheads) while these nations suffer the highest percentage of incidents of police brutality and imprisonment, far higher than their representation in this country overall.

And so we agree with this comrade that reforms will not fundamentally change the system of imperialist oppression. But still we must fight for those rights that will better enable us to educate and organize, while building towards the long term goal of revolution to overthrow the imperialist system.


Notes:
1. Raleigh News & Observer, December 15, 2013

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[Work Strike] [Abuse] [Moore Haven Correctional Institution] [Okeechobee Correctional Institution] [Dade Correctional Institution] [Desoto Correctional Institution] [South Florida Reception Center] [Florida] [ULK Issue 36]
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FL Prisoners Struggle Against Having to Pay for Visits

[CORRECTION: The comrade making the original inquiry updated us to say that the problems of having to pay for visits and the DOC taking 10% of our accounts did not happen at Moore Haven Correctional Institution, but rather at South Florida Reception Center (SFRC), Desoto Correctional Institution and Dade Correctional Institution. They were charging prisoners $1.00 for every disciplinary report and $5.00 for every prisoner that was put in confinement or segregation.]

[In November a USW comrade in Moore Haven Correctional Institution in Florida reported that the prison was taking 10% out of prisoners commissary or trust fund accounts each week and that they were being charged for family visits. The article below is a response to that report.]

This is the second time that the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) has tried to impose these despotic demands that I know of. The last time they tried to steal prisoners' money three ways: 1) charging prisoners $1 for every disciplinary report (D.R.) we get, 2) charging prisoners' families to come visit us, and 3) taking 10% out of prisoners' commissary or trust fund account. This was attempted at Okeechobee Correctional Institution.

In response to prisoners' complaints the captain went around to all the dorms and lieutenants at count time and claimed they did not know where the proposed memorandum came from but FDOC headquarters in Tallahassee told them they know nothing about that memorandum, they did not circulate it, and it's bogus and will not stand.

Rest assured that Tallahasse does know about the memorandum at Moore Haven CI. They tried it at one prison and it did not work so they are trying it at Moore Haven because (a) it a private institution run by Corrections Corporation of America, and (b) are short-timers. They are trying Moore Haven because they feel they have more to lose and don't know this trick has been tried at Okeechobee CI before.

Here is how we defeated Tallahassee and the institution. At least 98% of the prisoners filed grievances saying that their family was being subjected to robbery and racketeering. This is organized crime against prisoners and their families under the RICO Act, committed by the government against its own citizens. Then prisoners had their families on the phone to the secretary of FDOC, Governor and state representatives raising pure hell about the way they were being unjustly treated via extortion and harassment by FDOC. The last powerful thing we did was had a sit down strike like good old Martin Luther King Jr. Thus everybody would not leave the dorm. That worked so good because 1) it's non-violent, 2) it stopped all work production, 3) there are not enough confinement cells to lock everybody up in, and 4) it's hard to justify locking a bunch of people up because they and their families refuse to be abused by the government. The sit-down strike got FDOC minds right real fast.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade asked about the progress on the grievance campaign in Florida as well. Yet h story above seems like the greatest example of a grievance victory we've heard from that state. Turning grievances into campaigns is about mobilizing the imprisoned lumpen as a group. That is the only way justice can be enforced. It is part of building unity of all oppressed people to end the injustice that is inherent to the imperialist system, and creating a better world for everyone.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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For Mumia (Father)

On a cold December night
Blue suits tried to fix a fight
Between life and death
As Mumia fought for his next breath
When all was said and done
They'd planted upon him a killer's gun
A "legal" tomb would have to do
To silence his tongue
A voice so vibrant
A spirit so resistant
To their tyrannical ways
A Judge as corrupt as the crimes
Mentioned in his court
Leaned his support
To a truth-less prosecution
So as to up the notch
Of how many he's led to legal execution
A case built on false, lost and tampered
evidence
Was seen as irrelevant
Sitting in the court could've been an elephant
And it like the truth would've gone unnoticed
Death.
That was his peers' decision
Easily decided as what
To view on the television
It's been years since that day
That day in infamy
One that should never have come to be
Cause Mumia should be free!
I've read, like many,
His powerful, passionate words
Of which there are plenty
And it is from them that
I've grown to call him friend
But to me that is not the end
As a child without a father
To have him guide me
That is what I feel he has come to be
A friend and a father
A father who has led me to be free
A father who has taught me what
It means to be a revolutionary.
He has given me hope amongst agony
And shown me how to be strong
Where others bow down in defeat
He has taught me that you never
Surrender and never retreat
For I have learned that
If he,
An ordinary man
Can bravely stand
In the face of death
And continue to fight
Not just for himself
Not for wealth
But for the people!
Then we shall fear not
What we must endure
Rather we should strive
To follow in his compassion
And stand behind him
Just as he
Stands beside you and me.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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State of Shock


Here in the state of Tax-us, it's very sad to say
To stand against the injust-us, you'll never again see the light of day
Oh comrades, many say, but very few do
Years ago, I was lost like you

Seeing what's wrong, uniting to make it right,
Directing the masses, is a tedious plight
The system is large, it breeds all kinds of hate,
Rewarding the submissive who take the bait

The battle is not of our flesh, you'll come to see
It's to control your mind, re-programing who you'll be
This place creates living dead, stealing your soul,
Defeating the dreams, as we lose sight of our goals

Now in the State of Shock, Tax-us classifies all STG the same
Weak minds are broken, who are we to blame?
Promoting racism, thru incognito ways
leaving us bewildered transfixed in a daze

Comrades are betrayed by infiltrators who know our quest
You've gotta stay alert, there's no time to rest
Use the opportunity to teach many, while you're out there
Cause when you're snitched out of population, you'll breath stale Ad-Seg air

Buried in concrete boxes, it will be years before you feel warm sunlight
High security isolation is designed to hinder our might.
Uniting now, will give us some kind of chance
So many become hypnotized, controlled in a trance

Men in these cells are hungry, defeated and cold
We have to endure, standing in solidarity ever so bold.
Humans with rights we struggle to be
Our fight is priceless, nothing is free

This seems to be an outrageous price?
So the system squeezes tighter, we're prisoners in their vice
Thousands are docile, sheep afraid to get more times
Duped into perceiving such is permitted, cause they're here for a crime!

It's not too late comrades across Tax-us you need to believe
in unified strength cut the opposition off at the knee
"So they keep us warring on each other,"
But through peace, you'll find I'm your comrade, not the other.

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[Mental Health]
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Government Uses Mental Health Labels to Define Victims

U.$. injustice has found a new victim to satisfy their passions for cruelty. The non-neurotypicals are their current victim of choice, especially autistics and those with aspergers syndrome, although they've been preying on schizophrenics for decades. The AS/Austistics are a better target as they can be dismissed as "insolent psychopaths/sociopaths" by the real sociopaths - prison officials. AS/Autistics have "blindness" to nonverbal communication - which uneducated, bully prison nazis call 'insolence' - and they beat and/or write shots. Autistics/AS tend to be socially awkward, and tend to prefer to socialize online, where they are targeted by perverted FBI pigs, who lure them into sexual conversations, taking advantage of their loneliness, then pretending to be teens to get their victim falsely accused of being a sexual predator. Autistics/AS must fight back. Defend yourself against U.$. imperialism with Maoism and MIM!


MIM(Prisons) responds: First we want to respond to this article by defining mental health problems. This is something that capitalism defines very broadly, generally to classify all those who do not conform to imperialist values and lifestyle. Over time we have seen all sorts of mental health diagnoses come and go from fashion as they serve the imperialists: diagnoses were used to keep women at home and out of positions of power, diagnoses labeled gay people as diseased, and diagnoses were manipulated to institutionalize Blacks, just to name a few examples.

So we do not just accept labels of mental health disorders without question. Maoists understand that mental health is currently a widely abused system of labels, drugs and interventions that serve to isolate those who are alienated by and/or opposed to imperialism, while providing an excuse to explain away those who suffer conditions caused by the failings of capitalism. What is actually neurotypical, or a "healthy" mind, is not something we can define under capitalism because of the unhealthy and oppressive culture it creates.

We echo this prisoner's call for those who are suffering from mental health problems to actively fight back against imperialism. The system is not going to help your problems. But many people have found working for something they believe in is a great way to help with conditions like depression.

Ultimately we will address mental health systemically under socialism much the way they did in China under Mao where they focused on helping people become productive members of society, working with individuals, families and communities together.

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[Culture] [ULK Issue 36]
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Anti-Imperialist Crossword Puzzle

anti-imperialist crossword puzzle

ACROSS

4 ___________ is a failed organizational strategy that enjoys much support among activists in imperialist countries who romanticize the call to arms and quick attacks on the enemy
6 Cultural nationalism was sometimes called ___________ nationalism by Huey P. Newton
10 A ________ party provides the necessary leadership for a revolutionary movement
11 The belief that everything is a matter of opinion
13 The 13th amendment abolished slavery except as a __________ for a crime
17 A system of landlords and serfs
18 Focusing your time on things that give you glory or that you somehow find personal pleasure in is called what?
19 A ____________ is anything available for sale or exchange
23 Was the farthest historical advance towards communism (3 words)
25 The only time it is correct to evaluate a practice in relationship to an idea is within that _____________.
27 ________ Science positively asserts that the earth once existed in such a state that no man or any other creature existed or could have existed on it
28 Where it does impose repression, the ruling class may gain the popular support of the bourgeoisified workers in favor of what? (3 words)
29 A practical matter of fact way of approaching or assessing situations or solving problems
30 Under this the state nominally owns the means of production
32 Organizing societies according to peoples' needs
33 Love of one's country
34 The group that pays others less than the value of their work therefore making a profit off of them
37 The appropriation of surplus labor from workers by capitalists
38 At one time was a state capitalist country
44 They often believe in a kinder, gentler capitalism
47 Before his death Mao said he only wanted to be remembered as a what?
48 A major part of the imperialist state used to prevent self-determination of oppressed nations. (2 words)
49 __________ is a crucial issue for all serious revolutionaries that has recently received popular attention following the release of information by an NSA whistle-blower
50 To believe in ________ is to believe in mysticism.
51 The class of people who own enough property that they would not have to work to make a living
53 The highest stage of capitalism
54 The system under which non-workers control the production of wage workers
55 This class is rarely employed, often living as parasites on other proletarians
56 The dominance of one group over others

DOWN

1 A pig is a __________ officer
2 Developed the theory that a new bourgeoisie develops within the Party during socialism
3 The knowledge and application of knowledge on how to get from A to B the fastest
5 The most advanced stage of the science of revolution to date
7 Belief in one's own group being superior or of higher priority
8 _______ is a group of people defined by their relations to the means of production and their relationship to other people
9 A made up classification of people into groups to justify oppression through ideas of inferiority
12 Working class that benefits from the imperialist world's super exploitation of the Third World.
14 The Amerikan government has been promoting _______ _____ ________ politics for decades
15 The ____ - ______ refers to people who are exploiters but also must work
16 The belief in, or promotion of, ideas without basis in fact or without depth
20 Once labor is done
21 Marx said capitalism will ___________ solutions to homelessness, hunger, illness, pollution, and war.
22 Rashid wrote the "Don't ______ the Guards" handbook
24 When _______ fails it is the fault of the vanguard party
26 Democratic _______ is a key question of organizational strategy that helps to ensure both the security of the organization and the appropriate application of the scientific method in testing out line and strategy across the organization
29 The majority of the world's ______ have a material interest in revolution.
30 Extra profits derived from workers paid less than what is necessary to reproduce their labor (ie. feed their children)
31 Abolition of power of people over people
35 A concept based in reality that is defined by a group's land, language, culture and economy
36 Who got Russia out of World War I?
39 This type of persyn commonly downplays class struggle and overplays the struggle to increase production and technical progress compared with political views.
40 The ____________ originated in the industrial revolution which took place in England in the last half of the 18th century
41 They are free to sell their labor power (see 40 down)
42 The arrest of this group in China marked the restoration of capitalism.
43 _________ are imprisoned at rates 10 times those of whites for drug charges.
45 The condition of anorexia is a manifestation of gender __________
46 An ideology based on pre-scientific thinking
52 ___ ____ culture is a more promising battle ground for the oppressed today than Egyptology or even kwanzaa.

Click here for puzzle solution

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Tax-us Maoist


Don't mess with Tax-us, is the motto they use,
subliminal injections, that our struggle will lose.
Don't play into that Billy Box shit,
Anything will crumble, if strategically hit.

In the State of Tax-us, it's the Tax-us two step. One forward, two steps back!
Pitting brown against white, which turns white against Black
To keep colors warring on each other,
So all groups are incapable to witness brothers.

I read the article, of fledgling plight,
Driven to point of frustration strategically attempting to fight.
Comrades gathered on a yard, to voice grievances to the man,
A peaceful sit-down was their ultimate plan.

Their custody is minimum, the industry has everything to lose,
many are unsure of tactics riot squads will use.
The days are gone where they'd brutalize one man's race,
Now they'll spray you with chemical gas and fold you up as a suitcase.

But majority tomorrow, they'll file to chow hall, sit where they're told,
to be fed rubbery pancakes that are usually cold
Then be rushed back to wings fueled for a productive day!
Forced to meet quotas, compensated no sort of pay.

Afraid to be written a bogus disciplinary case,
To be held in check, while confined to this place.
You're housed in concrete boxes! like sperm specimens in a culture dish,
Checked by intimidation, you're afraid to resist.

Then informers infiltrate, exposing what you plan to initiate,
forcing all backwards to stagnated state.
You're one man, in many who burn with a vision we can achieve,
Now, we must convince other contingents to unconditionally believe.

Now locked in Ad-Seg we passed on the revolutionary flame,
You let them extinguish it so who you gonna blame?
What can they take from us now? or futuristically do,
So, ask yourself, are you capable to follow thru?

Comrades are all I got left, recently I kissed parole goodbye!
To charge the State of Tax-us it's our final do or die
I'm going down swinging, gonna give one hell of a fight
It's up to us comrades to unite for human rights

One voice alone, can easily be quelled,
They'll strip you of everything to be locked in an Ad-Seg cell.
But multitudes of voices they're forced to hear,
United comrades of all nationalities is what southerners fear.

They try to silence our voices, ignoring our needs
Are you afraid to be beat down, for the struggle, to bleed?
There's a fever spreading across Tax-us, they cannot contain
Comrades who are infected become immune to the pain.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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The Death Penalty Procedure


It makes my mind wobbly
Why do the state bother?
To sterilize the needle during a lethal injection?
Are they concerned about the condemned contracting an infection?
Or are they just achieving a sadistic judicial erection?
Even the concept of sanitizing executions is mindless!
Who thought of killing them with kindness?
Humanity, need to redefine justice and blindness
It's sad! Humane mercy in the form of an alcohol pad
The executors leave a lot to be desired
It's like they be pissing on a person, on fire
Why do they sterilize the needle? But in the RHU they won't feed us
"Our society teach revenge killing is okay and our society expect murder to go away?"
I got 28 yrs in, my mind could be a little feeble
Because, I thought about flying needles and ask
myself, "why didn't Noah just swat the two mosquitoes and save the world. From a lot of diseases!"
Why? When it come to death they sterilize the needle!
But in the RHU they won't feed us
Another death penalty procedure?

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Enemy of the State


I'm considered an "enemy of the state"
because I refuse to participate
so they incarcerate trying to manipulate
and mandate my mind state, solitary
confined my mind refined but not reformed
nor refrained. I've maintained
an intellect apart, with the intent to
never relent, staying relentless showing
no repentance, insistent that I be
able to live life in the true sense
of liberty unequivocally.
Allow me to enlighten
I don't mean to frighten only to heighten
your ability to see clearly
I only hope you hear me. Society projected
whole communities neglected, infected,
mistreated, abused and used left
confused I'm not amused nothing more
to lose so I spread the news of revolt
a jolt to the very foundation of this
hypocritical nation they are enslaving
I have faith you can envision, listen
and pay attention,
their invention of detention
another form of oppression, take a
lesson start asking questions check
my aggression due to their arrestin'
instead of stressin' I'm pressin'
forward, on and beyond the class war
straight to the core of this division
life in prison a manifestation the
incarceration of a whole nation. They've
got us all under surveillance
and if we show resistance we're
silenced with violence repressed
it's stressed that we fall in line
and be brainwashed one at a time
the status quo has got to go a new
format needs to be executed because
in order for us to exist we must
resist, ready and equipped. They've
got this country voting on shows and
topics that are superficial. But where's
our initial on something politically
official?! Their superimposition is apparent
and transparent with no comment,
committed to categorizing, the use of
hypnotizing with lies refusing to hear our
cries. Time to rise everyone please stand
and demand allow us all to be indelible
a considerable voice to expel, propel and
procure a promising future that will nurture
and educate instead of violate.
The vice that will annihilate our rights
without question should be cropped
and stooped!

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[Organizing] [Hunger Strike] [Nebraska State Penitentiary] [Nebraska] [ULK Issue 36]
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Failed Nebraska Protest Demonstrates Importance of Studying Political Theory

Just recently we had an incident here at the prison. There was a boycott from eating and a refusal to lockdown, leave the yard, or go to our bunks. There were a few fires started and prisoners made it hard for officers to do count.

As good as it might have felt to buck the system, this "two day" short lived revolution seemed to be useless because there was no bottom line or demands, and they ended up putting us on more restriction than we were on before. They feed us 2 cold bag lunches for breakfast and dinner, no visits, no church, no club activities, no yard, no one works, no phones (now restored), no outgoing mail (now restored), no library or law library, and officers give you disciplinary reports for every minor thing you do (passing food, sharing books, talking after 10pm, etc.).

The outcome of this "lost cause" shows the importance of studying MIM's concepts and ideology. One thing it did do is show the oppressor that the oppressed do have the will and intent to stand up. But a revolution that's lead by emotions will never win.

Another issue at hand here is the refusal to let prisoners out on parole because one person who was let out murdered 4 people (he did his full time, no parole, and he asked for mental health help before he was let out but they refused him.) Now the system wants to make us do more time on our sentence (80% instead of 50%), and make it a longer wait to go to work centers. They haven't taken into consideration all the successful parolees and how broken the system is in preparing prisoners for society.

One thing we must keep in mind is that "a man who stands upon the corners of the paths and points the way, but does not go, is just a pointer and a block of wood can do the same."


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade raises a very important point about how we must learn from our failures as well as our successes. And in the case of this protest, as well as many other spontaneous acts of resistance in prisons across the country, the lesson is often that we need to do more to build our level of political knowledge and study theory and strategy so that we can formulate the best approach to our local situation. There is an organizing strategy called focoism that attempts to promote and utilize the spontaneity of the masses to launch a revolution. There is a long history of spontaneous attempts at protest and the focoist strategy of revolution around the world that show us this approach generally leads to more repression, not to victory for the oppressed. We have a responsibility, as revolutionary leaders (and this extends to all readers of Under Lock & Key) to learn from this history and apply these lessons to our work today. MIM(Prisons) has a lot of literature on spontaneity, focoism and organizing strategy. Write to us to request study materials on this topic.

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