The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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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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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 33]
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Never Surrender

Mr. Piggy, you are what you eat — swine
Your oppression is your shit, mud and urine you roll around in when you think of ways to try to take mine
Your rage is the rage of a wild hog
I sit and plot on you sipping this eggnog
I wake from the dream and you're still here
As I look into your eyes I see you filled with fear
Your oppression is soon to be over, your time is near
Don't worry your cowardly soul while I live day to day in this cell
Build myself in a way you could never tell
I hide in the shadows waiting for war
Always remember when it rains it pours
When your time comes I will not shed a tear
Cause all my loyal eyes see is Uncle Toms and Klan members
My mind, body and soul will never surrender
Leave a mark for the future comrades to remember
Your corrupt mind is on never ending oppression till we all dead and gone
So I guess day by day it's on
Comrades we will see a better day at the end of this oppressed time zone

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[Organizing] [Gib Lewis Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 31]
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Fighting Abuse with Hunger Strike

28 January 2013 - Greetings and respects to you all and my fellow comrades who are enduring the struggle. Keep your heads held high always. They can lock us up physically, but can't lock our hearts, minds and souls away.

I was not able to keep in contact because of these white oppressors. My last issue of ULK was denied due to what the oppressor calls advocating hunger strikes.

I am a Texas prisoner housed in a high security unit, Lewis Unit, in Administrative Segregation. Since 10 January 2013 we have been fed minimal rations of food and it continues to get worse. For example, today we were fed 2 small corn dogs and 5 prunes. It was a breaking point. Some fellow comrades and I have initiated a hunger strike due to the feeding and continual physical abuse of prisoners while handcuffed or during use of forces.

The unity in Texas prisons is almost nonexistent. Most prisoners let the racist pigs treat them like animals. Only a few of us are willing to stand up. We cannot get change with five or six comrades, but we will fight to the death of us to get what we rightfully are supposed to have. On behalf of prisoners in the United States and abroad, I greatly appreciate your dedication to the struggle.


MIM(Prisons) comments: Hunger strikes are one of the few options available to prisoners fighting abuse and harmful conditions. But this form of protest comes with the risk of physical harm to the protesters, and is often handled with force by the prison administration. While prisoners must determine what is appropriate for their conditions, we encourage everyone to put in the time to educate and organize others. Unity may be non-existent in your prison today, but that should make clear what one of your key tasks is. We must educate others while organizing for demands that will unite them around a common cause. Ultimately we want to unite the oppressed in the struggle against imperialism, but we can start by helping them to see the source of their day-to-day oppression in the criminal injustice system.

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[Gang Validation] [California]
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Blood in my Eye Used as Evidence of Prison Gang membership

I've enclosed a chrono that documents how these people have chosen to violate my First Amendment right to read a book. I've been validated and am awaiting transfer to the Security Housing Unit (SHU).

"On Thursday, November 18, 2010, the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) Institutional Gang Investigator (IGI) Unit conducted a search of the cell and property pertaining to inmate XX. As a result of the search the IGI Unit confiscated and reviewed various materials evidencing his association with the BGF. The materials included a photocopy of Blood in my Eye.

"George Jackson's Blood in my Eye is required reading by the BGF for training into the prison gang. George Jackson, though never validated as a member of the BGF, is attributed as being the founder of the BGF. The written rules and regulations of the BGF require all members and associates to continually practice the revolutionary theories and ideas promoted by George Jackson. The BGF require members and associates of the prison gang to study and familiarize themselves with all of George Jackson's written materials and his history throughout the years. Also potential BGF recruits must study George Jackson's materials to show their loyalty to the Black Guerrilla Family.

"In conclusion due to inmate XX maintaining material indicative to the Black Guerrilla Family, XX is evidencing his activity and association with the prison gang. Therefore this memorandum should be used as one (1) source towards validating XX (Written Material) as an associate of the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF)."


MIM(Prisons) adds: This document from the prison administration demonstrates their systematic oppression of prisoners who attempt to study political history and theory. George Jackson is an author read by many prisoners because of his history as a prisoner and revolutionary organizer. Associating the book Blood in my Eye with a supposed "prison gang" feeds into the state's line that criminalizes the struggle for self-determination of the New Afrikan nation. It allows them to label politically active prisoners as dangerous for reading a book and subject them to isolation (the next step after validation).

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[Abuse] [Security] [Calipatria State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 31]
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Confusion About Snitching Means Pig Gets Away with Murder

do not snitch CA prisons
The pigs have been up to the same old stuff around here. Three days ago they shot and killed one of the brown brothers with the mini 14 assault rifle, the same rifle type the media and congress has been trying to ban. Two guys were attacking another guy and they were on him and wouldn't stop. So the pig stopped it with the assault rifle. The official report is that the victim had a stabbing instrument in his hand. But the men who were closest to the incident said they saw no weapon.

Of course they did the routine investigation and sent out some COs to ask if anybody saw anything. And of course no one wanted to talk. The pigs have brainwashed so many of us that we believe if we report on the pigs' wrongdoing then that makes you a snitch. A lot of guys are afraid to write a grievance for fear of being labeled. The bad thing is the pigs have their compradors in place to push this point.

Some guys here on a facility organized a food strike to protest the fact the kitchen has a mice/rodent problem. It was only one building. There was no communication that it was going to take place. They did it and got some people's attention. Inspectors came out and looked at the kitchen and gave the kitchen workers a pep talk and told them they needed to tell the population that the problem was being taken care of. All they did was put some mouse traps down and nothing else.

Hopefully the population continues to stand up for themselves. If this is a sign of change I hope it continues because the pigs got nervous when those guys refused to eat.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The righteousness of opposing "snitching" is in the idea that you don't go running to the oppressor to deal with problems among the oppressed people. In other words, don't snitch to the oppressor on the oppressed. There is no such thing as snitching on the oppressor. To report abuse of the pigs, you are not bringing the oppressor into a conflict among the oppressed; the oppressor already is the source of the conflict. And if the oppressed don't have the means to resolve that conflict, then it may be tactically correct to turn to other oppressors to resolve that conflict.

It is true that the prison administration gets nervous when prisoners organize. The more we can unite around common goals, the more power we will have. If the oppressed stay quiet and disunited, there is no counterbalance to the abuse that prisoners face.

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[Abuse] [High Desert State Prison] [Nevada]
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Nevada CO Targets Prisoners for Abuse

On January 1 a racist pig by the name of Yates assaulted a Black prisoner in the presence of his immediate supervising officer who did nothing to prevent the assault from occurring nor to stop it once it started. He then refused to call a Lieutenant, give the prisoner an emergency grievance, or request medical attention for the prisoner after Yates attempted to grab the prisoners arm through the cuff port and upon failing that, attempted to break the prisoner's arm by kicking the cuff port flap several times.

Since November this same pig targeted two other prisoners, both Black, one who's gone elsewhere. One, still here, is a diabetic and litigant who's problems arose over his prescribed medical diet. He's been the target of repeated and persistent provocation, retaliation, threats, disciplinary action and property confiscation by this same pig to the point where he can't leave his cell for shower or yard when this pig is on duty for fear of property loss/destruction. He and the prisoner assaulted on January 1 were told that Yates would starve them, kill them, watch them die and enjoy every minute of it and make their lives a living hell. Yates has also made it clear that grievances are useless, the administration has his back and if he did kill one of us he'd get a promotion and a pay raise.

This attitude is not uncommon at High Desert State Prison (HDSP). This pig and others routinely refuse emergency grievances or throw them away (or personally deny them!), refuse to call supervisors, leave prisoners in cells without property for weeks (for my first 17 days I had no property - not even anything to eat with), refuse to answer call buttons, and leave the heat turned off to torment us.

A few of us are fighting these abuses, but it is next to impossible to organize a group effort in part due to environmental obstructions in segregation and apparent apathy on the part of captives, which is seriously disappointing. This apathy is more pronounced (it seems) during the holiday season. This has always been a point of frustration to me: These are capitalist holidays celebrating the genocide and destruction of whole cultures. The first thanksgiving was declared by William Bradford (Gov of the Massachusetts Colony) to celebrate the Pequot Massacre - the murder of 700 plus indigenous people of all ages and genders. In Nevada we get better food (and adult portions) on their capitalist holidays and everybody puts on a happy face, I assume out of some misguided notion of respect for tradition. The rest of the year we're starved and treated like herd animals.

There are no holidays for the revolution nor for those devoted to revolution. It was on one of those "holidays" that the comrade above was assaulted. In hindsight, some racist pig assaulting a Black captive on a capitalist holiday is keeping in step with imperialist history.

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[Organizing] [Polk Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 31]
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Protest Breaks Out in North Carolina

On December 3, 2012 a small peaceful demonstration started. Here on supermax, prisoners refused to go inside their cells because they were tired of being oppressed. The pigs oppress us by not giving what's needed and intimidating prisoners. It started when a prisoner put his hands out to be cuffed. As soon as his hands came out of the small port door these cowardly pigs pulled his arm out of the trap and tried to break his arm. Luckily he had the strength to pull his arm away from the 4 pigs. After all was done the prisoners went back in their cells.

This is why the pigs think they can run us over with their oppressive ways and tactics. We as a group need to stand up and put these pigs in their place. These pigs know they got fellow pigs that have their backs, snitch ass prisoners I call rats, also the prisoners who are all about material things that these wanna-be hustler pigs can provide. These same prisoners are being oppressed with Security Threat Group (Gang Task Force) loss of jobs and privileges. But they don't want to unite. They'd rather use the pigs to get at a fellow prisoner. Slowly these prisoners are becoming part of the oppressor. All that I can say about these prisoners is "it's time to quit trying to be super gangsta and be a man. If you wanna ride, ride on these oppressive pigs. These pigs are the ones disrespecting you as a man with your neck under his boot."


MIM(Prisons) responds: Outbreaks of spontaneous protest like this one are a start to raising prisoners' consciousness about the need for unity against the criminal injustice system. This unity won't come overnight; we need to build it through education and discussion. Those who have been taught that they can benefit by snitching or turning their backs or hustling can be won over to the revolutionary cause, but we must put in the time to educate them. Sharing Under Lock & Key, starting study groups, talking to people, are all essential day-to-day organizing activities if we are going to build unity. Often we hear complaints about lack of unity, or lack of revolutionary consciousness. And we know this is a big problem in the prisons, but this is why our principal task right now is education. Incidents like this show us that the material interest is there, and we must build on that.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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There's No Glory

There's no glory
Land of opportunity a false story
Look close
Amerika's lies will cause an overdose
Continue persecution
Inhumane legalized executions
Outspoken sent to institutions
Top story presidential affairs
But for Mumia the media doesn't care
Black murderers get stopped
But close eyes to killer cops
A country built on stars and bars
And native scars
Now watch the glory fade away
USA supposed to be
Home of the free and equality
And land that is supposed to be anti-violence
But it's the government's method of ultimate silence
Country of anti-Black, anti-Brown
Anti-poor, anti-different, anti-gay
Aren't you proud of the great USA?

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 50]
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Pride of the Panther

Can you see the pride in the panther
As he grows in splendor and grace
Toppling obstacles placed in the way
Of his progression to a better place.
Can you see the pride in the panther
As she nurtures her young all alone
The seed must grow regardless
Of it having been planted in stone.
Can you see the pride in the panther
As they unify as one
The flower blooms with brilliance,
And outshines the rays of the sun.

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