The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Can you do layout? Help out by laying out pamphlets and study packs to mail to prisoners. help out
[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Uncomfortable Colanders

A solid square where one must breathe only so much
You see
We are given oxygen but only so much
Being fed just enough to feed one's hunger
Four paces back, four paces forth
Four cinderblock walls and a rusty steel door
If you think too much you will lose your mind
Not think enough and you will lose your mind
If you cry you'll not be able to stop
Laughing for days
Why
You forgot
Our voices revert to childlike tones
Faces pale as sundried bones
Listening to nothing
Yet hearing everything
Talking to no one
But the faces in the ceiling
Belonging to no one but the struggle against this diseased capitalist state
Silently millions sit sitting
Uneasily, unceasingly — squirming in
Society's hate

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Understanding the Weak

My father came to prison and got a tattoo
Heart with an arrow through Mom's name
Hepatitis he's sick with swollen liver disease
Mama left him because he drinks to ease the pain
An ex-pig-farmer being farmed now by pigs
An ex-junkie who's made peace within
All the lingering psychotic delusions
An ex-hillbilly progressed into anti-Amerikkkan
Anti-imperialist in an imperialist's skin
I am hated by my family for hating them
Hated by my fellow white Nazi prisoners
For understanding the weaknesses inside of them
I live to sweat and sweat to live
With a swollen liver like my father
And ex-girls like my mother
Not letting me see my kids
Losing everything I was once taught to love
Loving everything I was once taught to hate
I've lost everyone I once thought I loved
In inciting a reactionary's hate
I'm dying though I've just barely begun to live
Hating a family that chooses not to have me
Being destroyed by a country that swears it's correcting me
Sanity's mostly solitary in the land of the crazy
"If what you say is right, you need fear no criticism"(1)
"Democracy for the rich — that is the democracy of capitalist society"(2)
If what you are is a revolutionary, say "Fuck Amerikkkanism!"
Democracy for everyone, i.e. death to imperialism

1. Mao
2. Lenin

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 23]
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Strategic Confidence

Forty years today Attica rose up
Since then 600 million children starved to death
Pelican Bay comrades we've had enough
A revolution sparked by refusing pig lunch
Cover this one up, oppressor
We've had enough
Supermax solitary choke-holding Attica's sons
Gray-faced and pale captives dying alone
Bricks and steel sucking the life out of everyone
Clench-fisted against imperialism we die as one
Bring in your army and mow us down
Manufacture a coverup you plutocrat clowns
Each one of our body bags more heavy
And sacred
Than a billion of your cracker small towns
Red flags draped over true soldiers' coffins
Reminiscent of those buried beneath Kremlin gates
Red darns rising like earth under stampeding buffalo
Another empire crushed poetically
Like the Greek goddess of fates
Forty years today Attica rose up
And for the first time ever today
One captive voice echoed the world over
As one
One lung
We've had enough

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 23]
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Getto Children

Verse 1] Freedom/ And justice for humanity/ To all my/ Sunburned children of Third World kountries/ All stand together til forever/ Or whenever we receive/ Our given right to human decency/ Cause...

Chorus] There/ No be no other way/ To go about/ It/ If/ We want to better ourselves/ We must confront/ Him. Me'll/ Be di won in di/ Front from di belly of di beast/ With dem burral of mi/ Pump lying right between him teeth/ Screaming, I/ Will ride for him people/ No matter what/ Then all that dem rightfully deserve/ I/ Will ride for him people/ No matter what/ Comes me way at all

Verse II] This is a special occasion/ For all the strugglin Haitians/ You'll forever be remembered/ Just like them northern Asians/ Caucasians from Ireland/ And people of Palestine/ Camel riding niggas baring arms for a little/ Land. The struggle to survive/ Is a struggle to survive/ So your vision is my/ Vision, we'll all struggle to survive/ I grew up in the/ Projects, Third World conscience/ Killin niggas for that mean green mind/ Set. Battle of the rich and poor, I'm posted up with/ The poor, advocating/ For some social justice and the end/ of WAR. On all/ Of my people. Ain't we all equal? Black/ White, Yellow, Red, Brown, WE all/ Equal! Til we make/ It, catch me at the/ U.S. borders knockin walls/ Down. For my/ Border brotha. Like them northern Brothas, I'm re/ Forming brothas to stop shootin/ Brothas [Chorus]

Verse III] Everyday/ Mi see di struggle/ Of mi poor folks trying to si-vive/ Keeping i'float/ In di sea of destruction/ No progression in site/ Babies killing/ Babies, hostile social attitudes/ Stocking up on/ Human cattle just to get one/ Buck/ Or two. What has/ Our most beautiful world come/ To? Di democratic imperialistic world/ View. Capitalist/ Pile nukes to di stars/ But dey can't get/ Di equipment to get into di heart/ Of yi hungery/ Citizen cast out by society/ Living in/ Poverty where's dem democracy [Chorus]

Verse IV] Shot's been/ Fired. Out goes yo night/ Lights children of di sun bring the flame to di street/ Life — The world/ Starvin but rich people eatin/ Call me Robin/ Hood cause we about to start eatin/ You seen Amerikkkan Gangsta? I'm Frank Locus — Handin/ Chickens to the FOLKS grassroots/ Movement, seven/ Twenty-six Growth and Development/ Three sixty/ Two times we remain relevant/ Power to the/ Who? — I'ma let the people finish/ It, cause you ain't really/ Shit if you ain't got support from none/ Of them. Grindin and/ Bustin, shinin and hussalin/ BPP!/ That's the end of discussion [Chorus]

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[Organizing] [United Front] [California] [ULK Issue 23]
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Hunger Strike Strategy: Tactical Retreat or Advance?

So we now have the attention of the state, what is it that we will do with it? We have shown the ability to logically comprehend the repression that we're up against, and the strength to take a stand against the common oppressor, but what's to be done after we're standing?

After we've shot that bow across, or at that battleship, known to some as the CDCR and to others as the oppressive state of California; what is to be done next? Do we continue advancing on the enemy or do we retreat in the face of a failed tactic? This is the true question to be answered by the leaders of our movement.

Recently CDCR put out a memo of what it is they'd like us to do (see September 27 memo "Inmate Programming Expectations Relative to Hunger Strike"); they want us to retreat. And if we don't, "disciplinary action" will be taken against us.

So there you have it. For the arrow that was shot at the state, at a time when we need to be concentrating our energies into resolving the contradictions within the prison population dividing us, CDCR has fired back with its canon to not only discourage participation and leadership in peaceful protest, but has begun to set the stage for punishment for such protest.

They call it a disturbance to the safety and security of "their" established institutional order; our mass actions disrupt the everyday program of the department. Give this a little time to ferment and it will become, for every leader of such activities, disturbing the peace officer and obstructing duties. This is a felony offense that I am being prosecuted for in a state court as I write.

Do we retreat or advance? I personally believe that at this stage comrades should retreat. We should fall back and focus on the divisions that are the primary reason for low participation of prisoners. Most will feel that because we fall back we stop in this struggle, but they are wrong as our struggle is a protracted one.

This was a great shock therapy experiment. Now we must learn from yesterday, live for today and plan for tomorrow. In this war we must pick battles big enough to matter, yet small enough to win.

Let us not forget that although our civil disobedience is one of a peaceful nature it is still disobedience and can result in greater repression and punishment. Yes we are willing to die for a change of the current conditions, but are the masses willing to keep the movement alive after we're dead? Because the masses aren't even yet trained in such civil disobedience, the answer is no, they won't keep the movement alive. We can't expect them to do anything less than die out once their leaders die, and the state has begun its disciplinary actions against them. They have their lights on us for real now, so there isn't much to cloak our activities under. Our leaders will be targeted, so we must prepare others to lead when they fall.

We haven't trained our people in the effective art of hunger striking, how they must drink more water than usual to continue standing strong, how they must develop specific reflex mechanisms to respond in swatting away the urges of all officials, who have only one interest in the matter, which goes against the interest of the strike, and who will be like flies trying to get participants to take a sack lunch, or maybe even have an extra tray convincing them that they will not accomplish anything through striking. Amerikkka doesn't negotiate with terrorists (at least not in public), and they see the leaders of this action as such, no? Shouldn't our participants be trained in these and other methods in order to be more effective?

We leaders are responsible for ensuring that all participants will anticipate the repression that will come as a result of mass action, as well as what shall be done when these repressions take place. Have we done this? No.

It is more correct to re-evaluate our actions now to more progressively advance the demands of the prisoners. In this re-evaluation we shall address the key issues at hand that cause prisoners to be divided. In doing so we will be better fit in establishing the necessary communication with various organizations that can initiate the unity process for prisoners to engage in mass protest demonstrations. We will not be going backwards by doing this. It will actually prove to be forward progress for the prisoner liberation movement.

In ULK 21 BORO called out numerous LOs in their position of where it is that they stand in this struggle. As a USW member/leader I will follow suit in regards to my fellow captives in California: OG Flower and Ronny Brown, where y'all at? Coco where you at? Big Coup what's poppin dawg? Trech and Evil, here it is cuz? Hoover D and Big Owl, where y'all at? Where them NF comrades at? How about them NLRs? We either gonna go hard or go home, cause the state ain't even started yet. Y'all better take a look at Syria, and Libya. We all gone get it, so we all got to get involved.

The above organizations have leaders in the SHU who still fly kites to the line. They still have representatives in other areas. If they can enforce upon their members to engage in this as well as other non-antagonistic activities then I'm sure they can enforce upon their member population to struggle.

As I've said before, this is a good place to begin United Front work, but we must first resolve the contradictions of ourselves before we really begin outright battles with the state. Don't feel that we can't stop now because we've already started the movement, because this assessment of our klass conditions is really a step forward in strategic advance, but a tactical retreat. Remember, you can retreat and lead the enemy into an ambush.


MIM(Prisons) adds: From the time this article left our comrade's pen to when it was published here we have heard from the outside mediators that most in Pelican Bay had stopped their hunger strike, while other prisons followed shortly after. Whether in the midst of the strike or at the end, we think Loco1 brings up important points to consider in terms of moving forward while the issue is at the forefront of the masses minds.

While MIM(Prisons) did not lead or initiate this hunger strike, we do firmly support it and other progressive non-violent protests by prisoners demanding livable conditions in the context of the fight against the criminal injustice system. The strikers were prepared in building support and communications sufficient to execute an action that got the attention of not just the prison administration but people across the state of California and around the world. Actions like this are learning experiences for leaders and participants, while building unity and demonstrating the potential for such movements. However, we do agree with Loco1 on the need to evaluate both the successes and failures of these protests, and build on them for the future.

The hunger strike itself has already served as a uniting force, with thousands of prisoners standing together for a common cause. While Loco1 may be correct that this is a small portion of California prisoners, this demonstration was unprecedented in its size. We did receive some reports of differences in participation along national and organizational lines, and even more of the pigs trying to foment such divisions. With the strength of some of the LOs in California, overcoming these divisions could happen quickly under their leadership. But it requires putting the petty stuff, the things that currently dominate prison culture, aside for bigger goals. The original Five Core Demands of the hunger strike are an example of big goals (see ULK 21). While some argued that these only affected SHU prisoners, any prisoner can become a SHU prisoner in the blink of an eye. So the demands represented a blow against torture for all California prisoners.

We do not want more people in SHU. Control Units exist to control the oppressed nations and anyone the state sees as a threat to their interests. It is one of the most overtly political forms of repression we see in the United $tates today. And we agree with USW leaders who have pushed for a more explicit demand to end long-term isolation altogether.(see 1 or 2)

We agree that successful hunger strikes and similar actions require great unity and discipline, which the masses of California prisoners did not have going into this. But the strikers worked around this problem of unity and communication. The SHU prisoners pledged to fast til the demands were met, and only asked that others showed solidarity in whatever ways they best could. For many, that meant fasting for a determined length of time.

One of the major lessons of this hunger strike is the need for a unifying organizational structure through which action can be coordinated and goals and information can be formulated and shared. The United Front for Peace in Prisons provides this opportunity by bringing together LOs and individuals who understand the importance of unity against the common enemy. As the announcement of the United Front stated:


We fully recognize that whether we are conscious of it or not, we are already "united" — in our suffering and our daily repression. We face the same common enemy. We are trapped in the same oppressive conditions. We wear the same prison clothes, we go to the same hellhole box (isolation), we get brutalized by the same racist pigs. We are one people, no matter your hood, set or nationality. We know "we need unity" — but unity of a different type from the unity we have at present. We want to move from a unity in oppression to unity in serving the people and striving toward national independence.

We look forward to summaries of the successes and failures of the hunger strike in future pages of Under Lock & Key and encourage our comrades to send your stories on how you are building on this movement to greater unity and strength.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 25]
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Shut 'Em Down

Ten years today the towers fell
Since then 150 million children starved to death
Tell us again why the towers fell
Does tragedy count less on child's breath
We stand around as our nation starves nations
Texting, banging and killing each other
Pigs throw us in prison with brainwashing TV stations
Yet we accept this system unquestioningly
Killing each other
Capitalism created gangsterism, open your eyes
Each time we slang or rob a 7-11
The pigs cheer as our mothers cry
God isn't waiting on the clouds in heaven
The pigs created God, too, open your eyes
Hell does exist but it's where the soldiers go
Raping, bombing and Uncle Sam's favorite, genocide
We the people of the prison industrial complex
Pledge to support the world's majority
We anti-Amerikkkans and anti-imperialists
Pledge to come together and defeat your authority
We've done it before and we'll do it again
USW comrades grappling line questions
You can pull your triggers on our pseudonyms
But we'll regroup Hydra-headed again and again
Vanguard party brothers and sisters join up
Maoist study cells and progressive literature
Petty individualism down, the collective up
The captors held captive you have my signature
We create socialism then lock the rich up
Feed the hungry and cure the sick children
Who's the bad guy? It's them comrades. Not us.

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[United Front]
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USW Study Cell Signs onto UF for Peace

I have been working for years to help uplift the consciousness of prisoners and your five points for peace serve as a beacon of hope for the imprisoned masses.

I come from a united struggle from within U.$. prisons where prisoners suffer horrendously. So much work is to be done in prisons, and prisoners have much room to improve their understanding of the society that brought them to prison. The first step is identifying the oppressor and for some, being able to grasp what oppression is, is a difficult task. Most in prison have lived their entire life in mental chains so oppression becomes the norm and attempts to free one from this oppression are met with antagonism, sort of like the kidnapped victim who comes to love their captor.

Yet peace is a first step to being new men and wimmin prisoners, and then the imprisoned masses will begin to de-colonize their minds. A united effort is needed to help educate prisoners and your joint peace statement cuts a goat path through the muck we are forced to endure. My study group agrees with your peace statement and so I sign on as a result.

In Struggle.

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[Campaigns] [Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Last Men Standing in CA Hunger Strike

[This letter was just received from one of the few comrades who has continued to stick to the pledge to strike until the 5 core demands were met. While it is unclear why others in Pelican Bay have stopped striking, this comrade is pushing for a re-orientation that addresses the torturous conditions of long-term isolation head on while reaching out to the general prison population.]

18 October 2011 - Well, they had a busload, about 1/2 of it, full leaving Pelican Bay State Prison for Corcoran. All hunger strikers, and all descendents from south of the border, Mexico and further, with only a few whites. How they chose us out of all is difficult to say. They immediately isolated me, and in the last few days have gone to great lengths to convince me the strike is over. The CDC is even lying publicly saying it has ended (see CDCR Star) via Terry Thornton, a mouthpiece propagating on behalf of the state.

I've been told if I relent and eat I can go to the block with the others, but so far I've been lied to at every potential turn of events. [State employees have lied to prisoners throughout the hunger strikes in an attempt to undermine their unity. -editor]

One of the prevailing misconceptions is that this is primarily a legal issue, and there's a metaphysical conception of this too, in that "legality" is viewed in isolation without grasping its interconnections with all that is around it, ie. politics, economics, etc.

This lack of political consciousness is reflected in our goal. If there had been a more elevated ideological grasp on circumstances, even rudimentary comprehension of dialectics - scientific materialism, the distinction between "form" and "essence" would likely have been made once analyzing our strategy, before agreeing on it and pursuing it. You see, we must alter our strategic objective. The validation is only one "form," a vehicle, amongst a few to permanently isolate one within a sensory deprivation unit - the "essence" in this dialectical connection.

Had we made this analysis, instead of confronting a peripheral, a formal manifestation and means to permanently isolate us, we would have gone to the source of the disease, essentially, the permanent isolation itself.

People are sympathetic to the "dehumanization" that one is subjected to. One becomes, if enough time passes in such isolation, a social vegetable incapable of any form of social intercourse. This is caused by the severe lack of interaction with others, the context necessary for the personality's development, which not only identifies us as individuals distinct from one another, but it is social intercourse that binds us together as a collective, wholly as a single species.

If we achieve our goal, we've struggled only to put a Band-Aid on one of these sores manifesting from a diseased spot - Solitary Confinement. So long as it exists, even if we dismantle validation, we'll still be subjected to perpetual isolation by different methods, excuses, justifications, etc.

The push for the right to minimal association with other humyns is a strategy that has a historical precedent, tried and tested, with more successful results than not (see the IRA, ETA, RAF, Red Brigades, etc.). They all gained extraordinary international support within the UN and from organizations such as Amnesty International, etc. [Amnesty International released a statement of support for the hunger strikers during round 2 of the hunger strike. They condemned the use of political repression by the state against those who participated.]

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[Organizing] [International Connections] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 23]
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Learn from the Hunger Strike and Build

I want to extend a raised fist and reflect on the second round of the hunger strike here in Pelican Bay. As most know, prisoners once again attempted to achieve some sort of sense of humanity, if such a thing is possible in SHU. The demands were not fully met in the original strike, and this combined with the state's propaganda offensive pushed many of us captives into another push of resistance! This is what I attempt to give perspective on in this writing.

We need to review the entire process of any effort in order to learn from it. This is the process of evaluating the action (or inaction) and using these lessons to help us in future life choices. I'm not just speaking of this most recent effort but also anywhere else in Amerika where this same injustice presents itself.

We must remember the torture and abuse suffered and understand that torture will not stop from a peaceful protest. Torture in imperialist Amerika will always exist in one form or another so long as this system of state sanctioned white supremacy exists. So long as the oppressed nations are hunted down like Third World people, just as the Afghani villager flees when s/he hears the sound of helicopters, knowing it is the NATO occupiers, so too do the oppressed Brown and Black peoples understand when the helicopter comes over our neighborhoods, we too are its prey.

The SHUs are but another expression of what the people live with psychologically in the barrios and ghettos across Amerika. We are locked physically in these concentration kamps, told what to read, what to look at, what to listen to and what to think. People out in society are also experiencing this control on a more subtle level, and in our communities we are hunted down lethally. In Amerika our task force 373 (kill squad) is the pigs where as in the Third World it is the U.$. military who go into Third World nations when Third World people raise their objection.

Today the corporate media announced that Gaddafi was killed and as they showed his corpse, and as Obama made a speech about how Gaddafi was a "mad dog" for not respecting the human rights of all Libyans, I sit in solitary confinement with no sunlight, no human contact, and all the oppression that comes with being in SHU. The truth is Amerika doesn't see Brown or Black people as worthy of human rights. This is why millions of us are criminalized; why we are shot dead unarmed in the streets and prisons by the pigs. This is why we are not given work and suffer a new caste system of being branded a felon, and it's why mothers and fathers are ripped apart from children and deported as "illegals." Illegals! Who are the real illegals?!

The second hunger strike erupted September 26 but unlike the previous strike there was no negotiating teams, no attorney visits to work as mediators, no coverage in the corporate media and so many people here did not know a strike was happening until later in the effort. The numbers I got were approximately half the SHU participated in this second effort, which was fewer than last time, but I also heard more participated in prisons across Amerika and even some county jails. This proves my theory that the longer these efforts take place the more they will be supported. Prisoners get used to the idea of struggle. It brings to the forefront the everyday issues that affect every prisoner, particularly the issue of state repression. This of course is the state's worse nightmare.

I continue to believe that an effort prepared well in advance is far more effective and would be more supported and last a longer amount of time. I think the first strike lasted three weeks because it was prepared for properly. To just announce you're going to do something and do so will get many to participate, but if an effort is ill prepared it won't be as lasting and may not be as effective.

I myself was very angry after the first strike because I didn't feel the demands were essential to a mass effort. Things like shut down all SHUs, end the three strikes, end the death penalty, are things I think are worthy of demands. These are issues that affect every prisoner, not just some. I am very proud of the California prison population for its awakening and learning to stand up en mass, yet we should look deeper into our demands and make sure they reflect the true causes of our oppression.

We can see California prisoners are on the move. It took the many years of groups like MIM(Prisons) along with prison revolutionaries working on the inside to raise the consciousness to see this oppression we live with in these dungeons. MIM(Prisons) once said "Lenin always insisted that change does not occur in straight lines, despite our wishes. And like all Marxists, he stressed historical materialism, which means that ideas come from material reality and not vice versa. We can imagine the world we want and wish it into existence, but that will not make it so. What Marxists do is look at the contradictions in humyn society and study the forces that make them up in order to understand how to resolve them."(1)

I think California prisoners are indeed looking at the contradictions we live with and finding ways to resolve them. This by no means is going away. More and more prisoners are taking notice and coming to support the Pelican Bay SHU battles while raising their own demands wherever they reside in Amerika's concentration kamps. Let the demand for human rights for prisoners reach every cage in this imperial empire. Power to the people!

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Ten Feet Tall


Clicking on the cement nails scrape as I motion
Breezeless and stale marinated between want and need
Letters slip through the cracks in my gated community
Shell shocked and sullen as prisons, asylums and death take their feed
All-nighter with exhaustion, your happy hour's almost up
Bleed with me comrade beside cesspooled capital
Talk to me friend as mankind's sun slowly sets
Dead or dying amigo no worse can it get
The worse is over all they can do now is stop the pain
We've already made peace with finality and insanity
Embraced her long lost face beneath the pattering rain
No hope for the white nation but hope for our species
Class suicide's forever hated and chased
No shelter for the homeless nor sleep for the restless
Self-destruct on the construct equals yourself erased
Pain in my twisted back eased by the pain in my knees
Pain in consumer common sense eased by my solitary
Pain is my friend, not heavy, my brother
The pain in your face I've not seen in no other
Obsessive compulsive the captive counts the bricks
Bipolar disorder counting up gritted teeth clicks
Manic depressive jump-roping noose's knots
Lonely humyn male silently, like beads, counting the knots
The beauty in the hurricane matched by the logic of the insane
In the eye of the storm scrubbing windows and storm drains
I sit righting mental wrongs waving goodbye to the gone
Anti-imperialism as my struggle, revolution as my song

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