The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out
[Elections] [International Connections]
expand

Obama's False Promise to Raza

I recently read ULK issue 6 in which a comrade out of California discussed his experiences after the election of Obama. This brought back memories I experienced along the same lines, where at the moment it was announced that Obama was indeed the new president there was a roar of applause almost as if one were in a football stadium and your team just scored a touch down! This was in one of California's security housing units (SHUs) so this jubilation was coming from prisoners who are amongst the most "conscious", the most progressive, who are taken off the mainline for rebellious acts against the state. It was a sad sight to see potentially revolutionary prisoners get sucked into the age-old game of bourgeois politics.

I remember having a long beat with my neighbor at the time over the Obama sham and how Obama is like a Booker T. Washington, only worse. Booker T. Washington was used to pacify the Black masses for the Amerikan government but had no power outside the Black nation, whereas Obama is the Commander in Chief and has much more power than Booker T. Yet, like Booker T., Obama is used to corral the Black nation and many others into the realm of bourgeois politics. On the doorstep of imperialism, Obama's presence in the White House is used to "legitimize" the program of Amerika and the actions of the oppressor nation, and to sweeten the bitter pill of repression for the oppressed nations to swallow more quickly.

The upcoming elections have the imperialists once more dressing up Obama, having him show up for a photo shoot at an all-Black Baptist church, at a press conference for Latino rights, etc. But I'll make this real clear real fast - Obama is an imperialist and does not care about the Black nation. Latinos have learned from Obama being in office. Many Latinos were sucked into bourgeois politics, standing for hours in lines beside Black folks and voting for Obama. Now what do they have to show for it? They have over one million Latinos who had their asses deported! Over one million - that's more Latinos deported with Obama as president than with Bush II as president!

Obama and the Democrats feel Latinos have no choice but to support them because of the Republicans being so outspokenly anti-migrant, but this is wrong! Both are anti-migrant and only tolerate migrants when we are picking their baby spinach and heirloom tomatoes, or when we are cleaning their homes, watching their kids and washing their cars. They tolerate La Raza, the people, when it saves them a dollar. They let us work and then a day before pay day they call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on us as happened in the processing plants in the last couple years. It's an old con game that both the Republicans and Democrats use to bamboozle Raza and save a buck in the process. This is a rerun that the Chicano nation has been battling in Aztlán since 1848 and will continue until we liberate Aztlán.

Our liberation will not come from the Democrats or Republicans; it will not even come from any other party in the Amerikan bourgeois political elections. The imperialists will never permit Aztlán to be liberated. It will fight tooth and nail and sabotage any ballot box initiative even hinting about this and neutralize any leaders who built momentum to build any ballot box initiative in this direction. Our liberation will come from the Chicano movement and its struggles outside of bourgeois politics.

I am beginning to hear the same old tired talk about Obama again since the elections are coming up. I heard one Chicano talking about how he wrote his family and told them to vote for Obama so that the Raza will be better off than they would be with a racist Republican. So I got on the tier and asked him "what the hell has Obama or any Democrat during his term done for Raza?!" He had no answer as I figured so I explained how Raza has even suffered more with the Democrats but that they are in fact one and the same; a double-headed monster, a single beast.

The problem is many prisoners who initially take an interest in political science will watch these imperialist propaganda shows on the corporate TV stations and begin to parrot what they hear and swear up and down its true because they heard it on the "news." What they are not grasping is this "news" is controlled by the imperialists. They will not put out views that work contrary to their program, they will not inform us on revolutionary news and analysis, and they will not educate us to rise up as these news corporations are owned by billionaires who protect their bread and butter like a revolutionary protects his/her people. This is why we did not hear much when, on June 7th 2010, the U.$. border patrol shot and killed a 14-year-old Mexican child named Sergio Hernandez as he played on the Mexican side of a canal. This is why the killing of Oscar Grant didn't get proper coverage. Yet we see the same actions played over and over on TV when it's a country that the U.$. wants a regime change in - like the Middle East.

As author/journalist Juan Gonzalez has pointed out, the birth of the Amerikan newspaper was around the need to share information about the movements and behaviors of indigenous people and to rally the white settlers around their genocide.(1) The idea of objective journalism was a myth created much later in history, but the practice has been consistent.

Just as the news supported the control of indigenous and African people during the birth of this nation, the control of la Raza is at the forefront of TV news today. The mass deportations while Obama has been president are not done randomly. Aztlán is growing rapidly and with it Latinos continue to multiply. Seven of the ten fastest growing cities in the U.$. are in the area currently called the Southwest(2) and of these seven cities all are overwhelmingly Latino states. The future must seem very bleak for the oppressor nation. Thus they use their puppets to attempt to curb this "invasion" and "re-conquest" as conservative mouthpiece Pat Buchanan calls it.

Raza need to see Republicans and Democrats as one and the same. We need to educate Raza so that we become our own liberators; national liberation will never come from the ballot box. We need to educate our families, friends and barrios, this needs to be done house to house and persyn to persyn one letter at a time via snail mail if need be, but it is the only way to ween Raza off of putting faith into bourgeois politics.

We can look today at the many [email protected] elected officials and yet the Barrios continue to be occupied and under siege! We continue to be used as target practice by those claiming to protect and serve. Like our Third World counterparts in Afghanistan who suffer "night raids" we also get our doors kicked down in the middle of the night and the barrel of a gun stuck in the face of our children. When the Afghan villagers hear the helicopters they flee to the caves as they know all too well the predators lurking in those chinooks, just as we rush to avoid the spotlight when we hear the ghetto bird. It is a safari in the barrio and we are the prey. The people of Afghanistan are far more oppressed than anywhere here in Amerika yet we face the same oppressor.

The Great Leap Forward of 1958-59 in China was a special period in China's revolutionary history. The essence of which was to build communes. Today in the imperialist controlled media the Great Leap Forward is distorted as a situation that "killed millions" when in reality it was a socialist economic and social development to enhance people's power in the countryside. Here in Amerika we are nowhere even remotely close to that stage of development as Mao's China. But just as early in the Chinese revolution the peasants formed people's communes, I see a future here in Amerika where the people begin to form revolutionary committees. These mutual aid teams will be anchored mainly in the barrios and ghettos but eventually spread out to all areas where the oppressed nations reside. These committees will work to provide the people with independent outlets outside of the capitalist state in order to get the people to begin exercising people's power.

We of course are not at this juncture yet but it is a goal to work toward in our communities, in our barrios and within our lumpen organizations. We need education. Without learning and developing we will continue hoping the Democrats make things better for us and continue being hoodwinked. Now is the time to rebuild the Chicano movement! The past struggles of our gente are not forgotten nor will our martyrs have gone in vain or laid down only for us to stand in a line to vote for an imperialist!

Long live the Aztlán nation!


Notes:
1. while discussing his new book: Juan Gonzalez & Joseph Torres. News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media. 2011.
2. The New York Times Almanac, 2011. p. 273.

chain
[Legal] [California]
expand

CA Prisoners, Know Your Rights

Comrades, here is a CDCR regulation that we can use against censorship. Essentially there are no ban lists. Straight from the California Code of Regulations:


15 CCR § 3190(i)(2) "Legal Material, including legal reference material, books, and legal pads not available in the institution canteen, pursuant to section 3161. There shall be no 'Approved Vendor Lists' for any legal publications. Inmates may receive legal publications from any publisher, book store or book distributor that does mail order business."

15 CCR § 3190(i)(7) "All publications, including books and subscriptions to periodicals, subject to section 3006. There shall be no "Approved Vendor Lists" for any publications. Inmates may receive publications from any publisher, book store or book distributor that does mail order business."


MIM(Prisons) responds: This has been official policy since 2008, yet CDCR staff continue to cite the 2006 ban memo years after a lawsuit put an end to the ban on MIM Distributors's mail in the state of California. Therefore we find it useful to reprint these rules, for comrades to use in their own appeals. Remember to forward us any documentation of censorship and appeals. Many of these facilities have been citing the overturned 2006 memo for years, yet claim it is a mistake when we write them for an explanation. Establishing these patterns is important in building our cases. While they'll never follow the rules all the time, using the law against them is one tactic for organizing resistance and creating more space for education to occur. We have put together a supplement to our Censorship Guide which focuses on the California ban, so write in to get it if you're being given this reason for censorship.

chain
[Spanish] [ULK Issue 24]
expand

Perdidos en la Traducción

Si Se Puede - Chavez

¿Sí se puede o no se puede? ¿Cuál es señor presidente?

A principio del 2008 empezamos a oír del entonces candidato presidencial Barack Obama que si fuera elegido tomaría acción rápida de la reforma migratoria. Durante este tiempo también empezó a extraviarse a la izquierda de la opinión corriente de la burgués por insinuar su disgusto con los allanamientos de los lugares de trabajo a los indocumentados. Tampoco, nunca se molestó a mencionar nada sobre la muchísima gente indocumentada que supuestamente cometió algún "crimen" en cruzar la borde mexicano/estadounidense cuando dio su discurso al Concilio Nacional de La Raza.(1)

De verdad, declaraciones como estas sobre el tema de la reforma migratoria ayudó popularizar el senador de Illinois entre los Latinos lo cual le ayudó quitarle el voto latino a la entonces Senadora de Nueva York Hilary Clinton.(2) Aun aquí estamos tres años lejos de la elección del primer presidente negro de los Estados Unidos y el tiempo nos ha enseñado otra vez de nuevo que Barack Obombadero como cualquier otro político estadounidense no tiene nada más que ofrecer a las naciones oprimidas más que promesas quebradas y más opresión.

Un millón de gente han sido deportados de los Estados Unidos desde la toma de oficina de Obombadero en el 2009; es decir 400,000 deportaciones al año con las varias naciones latinas porteando lo peor.(3) También es importante notar que los números de deportación han aumentado desde a administración previa de Bush y son históricamente más alta en comparación de las 500,000 gente quien fueron literalmente "ferrocarrilados" a México entre los años 1929-39 en lo que los imperialistas llamaron "arreares de repatriación." Esto además que no toda la gente eran ciudadanos Mexicanos.(4)

Más recientemente, los EE UU iniciaron las deportaciones masas bajo el capo de un programa federal costeado por la administración Obombadero llamado "comunidades seguras" en que oficiales de ICE (Inmigración y Coacción Adueñar) en conjunción con policías locales por toda la nación buscan a los indocumentados y llevan a cabo allanamientos contra ellos.(3) Los allanamientos son llevados a cabo del encabezamiento de "operaciones fugitivas."(3)

Al principio los policías locales tenían la opción de unirse a comunidades seguras pero muchos de ellos vacilaron previniendo los problemas potenciales que esto podría causar a sus funciones diarios de ocupares de las semicolónias internas también a su vigilar de vecindades con alta densidad de población migrante recién llegados.(3) ICE eventualmente los pudo vender comunidades seguras a los puercos después de decirles que solamente buscarían a "los peores de los peores."(3)

Según la portavoz del gobierno, una mitad de la gente quien han sido deportados desde el 2009 eran delincuentes violentos, pero investigaciones sobre el programa han revelado que mucha de la gente siendo deportada actualmente fueron deportados debido a infracciones menores, tal como Señora Ramírez quien fue arrestada por policías locales por una infracción menor de auto; fue mandada a un centro de detención federal y seguido deportada a México desde Maple Park, Illinois todo en el espacio de unos pocos días a despecho de que no tenía fondo de criminal y estaba criando hijos nacidos estadounidenses.(3)

¿Pero sería que Señora Ramírez era una de las afortunadas si se considere las circunstancias? La respuesta es sí.

Ciudades de acampamiento, viviendas apretadas, ningún derecho a abogados, el racismo, el abuso verbal, el abuso mental, golpizas y el asalto sexual. Esta es la realidad dura que espera a los indocumentados en cuanto son aprisionados y deportados a las manos de estadounidenses.(3)

Un caso en punto es el Centro de Detención e Inmigración Federal en Willacy, Téjas donde una investigación reciente por el ACLU determinó que había "abuso sexual muy extensiva de las detenidas y un sistema de injusticia sistemáticamente posesionada sin ninguna responsabilidad firmemente intacto."(3) Esta información fue corroborada más por guardias y un psiquiatra, que eran empleados anteriormente por Willacy, quien dieron cuentas del abuso al contrario de comprobación de cuentas que hizo el ICE en donde se le dio un grado de "BIEN."(3)

Durante este tiempo el departamento de ICE también condujo una encuesta de los presos supuestamente para ayudarles registrarse las quejas. Desafortunadamente la encuesta no era nada más que un truco compuesto y conducido por ICE sí mismo para poner en la mirada a los quien intentaban registrar quejas y disuadirlos de que siguen por manera de amenazar verbales.(3)

¿Que Vendrá?

Entonces, ¿qué es lo que la población migrante de los EE UU podrá esperar? Bueno, si la realidad corriente y el número de gente corrientemente encarcelados en prisiones Amerikanas puede servir como una indicación de lo que vendrá, entonces podemos esperar que el país con el porcentaje más alta de su población detrás de las rejas ahora se convierta en el país con el porcentaje más alta de nacionales extranjeros detrás de sus rejas. Más evidencia de como los Estados Unidos oprime la mayoría del mundo. En verdad, prisioneros políticos.

Los críticos liberales de comunidades seguras como el ACLU han apuntado que el programa de comunidades seguras es nada más que la política de la administración Bush inflada con las esteroides de Obama.(5) Aunque tendríamos que concordar también tendríamos que ir más lejos. ¡Comunidades seguras es el utilizado del sistema de injusticia Amerikana como una resolución substituta para su población migrante quien ellos desalojaron en el primer lugar! Los descendientes de los habitantes originales en esta tierra migran a los EE UU para trabajar a los trabajos que los estadunidenses no harán, ganando menos salarios que los estadounidenses. Pero, sólo son tantos trabajos no queridos que necesita obreros, y frontera abiertas resultarían en una igualación en salarios estadounidenses con el resto del mundo – el miedo más grande de la aristocracia obrera. Esta realidad económica, junto con amenazas políticas que una población oprimida creciente dentro de las fronteras estadounidense propone, explica por qué los E.E.U.U. se fijan en controlar estrictamente a los emigrantes (en particular los que cruzan el Rio Grande)

En un discurso en El Paso, Téjas al comienzo de este año el Presidente Obombadero otra vez andaba mintiendo y hablando por los dos lados de su boca cuando dijo que no habría ninguna reforma comprensiva de inmigración por la culpa de los tercos republicanos.(3) La línea final, no habrá reforma comprensiva de inmigración y va a seguir "cumplimiento forzoso en esteroides." No reforma quiere decir que el requisito, bajo comunidades seguras de la demandada cuota de deportación de 400,000 anual según un memorándum interno de ICE va a continuar para seguir recibiendo fondos del Congreso.(3)

Cuando se le preguntó a Cecilia Muñoz, una oficial de alta nivel con el departamento de Asuntos Interiores de la administración de Obama, sobre el golpazo que estos tipos de números tendrán en las familias migrantes en los Estados Unidos, ella respondió con retórica típica de la nación opresora, dijo que, "familias quebradas son el resultado de leyes quebradas." Luego dijo que todo era parte del problema de inmigración.(3)

A este pincho vendido le respondemos todo al contrario, no hay ningún problema migratorio pero sí hay un problema del imperialismo y en realidad es el problema número uno en el mundo ahora; principalmente el imperialismo estadounidense.

Después de la deportación de Susana Ramírez hubo un esfuerzo para que voten y pasen una declaración del senado para negar fundos para el programa de comunidades seguras de ICE. La declaración se llamaba "La Ley de Susana", y fue negada.(3)


Notas:
1. Profesora Alexa Saragoza, Chicano 50, Vol. 1 pg 20
2. Ibid. p24
3. Frontline: Lost in Detention (Frontline: Perdido en la detención), PBS, 10/18/2011
4. Autor Desconocido, History of the Chicano People (Historia del pueblo chicano), pg 48.
5. Joanne Lin for ACLU. 18 August 2011 “Agreed: Facts Matter on Immigrant Detention and Deportation.”

chain
[National Oppression] [International Connections] [Migrants] [ULK Issue 24]
expand

Lost in Translation: Obama on Migrant "Problem"

Si Se Puede - Chavez

Si se puede o no se puede? (Yes, we can or no, we can't?) Which one is it Mr. President?

Beginning in 2008 we started hearing from then presidential candidate Barack Obama that if elected he'd take quick action on immigration reform. During this time he also began straying to the left of the bourgeois mainstream opinion by hinting at a distaste for workplace raids of undocumented migrants. Also, he never bothered to mention anything about the many undocumented people who'd committed a "crime" in crossing the Mexico/U.$. border when he gave his speech at the National Council of La Raza.(1)

Indeed, statements and positions such as these on the issue of immigration reform helped popularize the Illinois Senator amongst Latinos which in turn helped him to wrestle the Latino vote away from then NY senator Hillary Clinton.(2) Yet here we are now three years out from the election of the first Black President of the United $tates of Amerika and time has once again shown us that Barack Obomber, like all other Amerikan politicians, has nothing more to offer the oppressed nations but broken promises and more oppression.

One million people have been deported from the U.$. since the taking of office by Obomber in 2009. That's 400,000 deportations a year with the various Latino nations bearing the brunt of it.(3) It's also important to note that this number of deportations is actually up from the previous Bu$h administration and ridiculously higher than the 500,000 people who were literally "railroaded" to Mexico between 1929-39 in what the imperialists called "repatriation drivers." This despite the fact that not everyone who was deported were Mexican nationals.(4)

More recently the U.$. initiated the mass deportations under the guise of the Obomber administration's federally funded program called "Secure Communities" in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, in conjunction with local law enforcement, searched out the undocumented and carried out raids against them all across the country.(3) The raids are conducted under the heading of "fugitive operations."(3)

At first local law enforcement was given the option of joining Secure Communities but many were hesitant foreseeing the potential problems this might pose to their daily functions as occupiers of the internal semi-colonies as well as to the policing of neighborhoods with a high density populace of newly arrived migrants.(3) ICE however was eventually able to sell Secure Communities to the pigs after telling them they'd only be going after the "worst of the worst."(3)

According to government mouthpieces, half the people who've been deported since 2009 were violent offenders, but investigations into the program have revealed that many of the people deported have actually been deported due to minor infractions such as Susana Ramirez who was arrested by local law enforcement for a minor traffic stop, sent to a federal detention center and was subsequently deported to Mexico from Maple Park, Illinois. All this happened in the span of a few days despite the fact that she had no criminal background and was raising U.$. citizen children.(3)

But was Susana Ramirez actually one of the lucky ones considering the circumstances? The answer is yes.

Tent cities, cramped quarters, no right to attorneys, racism, verbal abuse, mental abuse, beatings and sexual assault, this is the stark reality that awaits the undocumented as they are imprisoned and deported at the hands of Amerikans.(3)

Case in point is the Willacy, Texas Federal Immigration Detention Center where a recent investigation by the ACLU determined that there was "widespread sexual abuse of female detainees and a systematically positioned injustice system with no accountability firmly intact."(3) This information was further corroborated by former Willacy guards and a former Willacy psychiatrist who gave eyewitness accounts of the abuse, contrary to a 2009 ICE audit of the prison camp in which the detention center was given a rating of "good."(3)

During the same period ICE also conducted a survey of the prisoners supposedly to encourage grievance filing. Unfortunately, the survey was nothing but a ruse orchestrated and conducted by ICE officials themselves in an effort to pinpoint those attempting to file complaints and dissuade them from following through.(3)

What's to Come?

So what is in store for the migrant population of the U.$.? Well, if current reality and the number of people currently locked up in Amerika's prisons can serve as indicators of what's to come then we should expect the country with the highest percentage of its population behind bars to now become the country with the highest percentage of foreign nationals behind bars as well. This is more proof of how the U.$. oppresses the world's majority. They are political prisoners indeed.

Liberal critics of the Secure Communities program such as the ACLU have pointed out that it is nothing more than the Bush administration's immigration policies juiced up on Obomber steroids.(5) And while we'd have to agree we'd also have to go further. Secure Communities is the utilization of the Amerikan injustice system as a proxy resolution for its superfluous migrant population which the U.$. directly displaced to begin with! Descendents of the original inhabitants of this land migrate to the United $tates to work at jobs that Amerikans won't do, making less than Amerikans make in wages. But there are only so many of these undesirable jobs that need to be filled, and open borders would result in an equalization of Amerikan wages with the rest of the world — the biggest fear of the labor aristocracy. This economic reality, combined with political threats that an expanding oppressed population inside U.$. borders poses, explains why Amerika targets migrants (particularly those coming across the Rio Grande) for strict control.

At an El Paso speech earlier this year President Obomber was once again telling lies and talking out of both sides of his mouth when he stated that there would be no comprehensive immigration reform because of Republican stubbornness.(3) Bottom line, there will be no comprehensive reform and there will continue to be "enforcement on steroids." And no reform means the requirement under Secure Communities to deport 400,000 people a year, according to an ICE internal memo, will continue to be enforced to maintain funding from Congress.(3)

When asked about the toll these numbers would take on migrant families in the U.$., Cecilian Muñoz, an Obomber administration top official with Interior Affairs, answered in typical oppressor nation rhetoric, that "broken families are the result of broken laws." She then went on to state how it was all just part of the immigration problem.(3)

To that coconut we say quite the contrary. There is no immigration problem, but there is an imperialism problem. As a matter of fact it's the number one problem in the world today: principally U.$. imperialism.

In the wake of Susana Ramirez's deportation there was a push to have a Senate Bill voted on and passed to deny ICE any more funding for Secure Communities. The bill was called "Susana's Law," and it was defeated.(3)

This article referenced in:
chain
[Campaigns] [California] [ULK Issue 24]
expand

Advance the California Hunger Strike through Strategic Unity and Criticism

I have much unity with Loco1's piece concerning a strategic retreat and after reading his essay I now have some things I'd like to speak on concerning the strike. However, as I myself am not currently housed in the SHU my words should be taken merely as food for thought, as it is up to those participating directly in the movement to analyze their own conditions.

Firstly, I believe that the SHU prisoners are currently in a crucial period. They have successfully completed the first stage of their struggle but if they are to successfully complete the next stage then they must enter into a period of criticism, self-criticism as it is the best way to avoid any left-deviations or rightist errors. The SHU prisoners are the vanguard in this struggle and it is up to them if the movement moves forward or dies a humiliating death. By moving forward I in no way am implying that the struggle must continue full steam ahead regardless of their present conditions.

Loco1 is correct to point out the fact that this is a protracted struggle, and the SHU prisoners aren't going to go anywhere anytime soon, except to another SHU. This is especially true for the ones that are "validated;" they have all the time in the world to sit and hammer shit out. Or as the Afghans like to say of invading oppressor armies: "you have the clocks, but we've got the time."

Thus, here are some points of attention:

  1. The life and death of the struggle depends on the willingness of the prisoners to remain united. It is essential that contradictions between the oppressed and the oppressors do not become contradictions between the oppressed themselves.

  2. The main force of the movement are the SHU prisoners. The immediate reserves are the general population prisoners. Loco1 is correct to call out specific LOs as they have the ability and influence to organize the vast majority of the prison population. Therefore they should exert all their power and energy into catapulting the masses to complete victory.

  3. It is integral to the struggle that a correct political line should be developed so that the masses may gather round it to find guidance in the movement.

  4. Indeed, practice is principal but this is also the time for studying theoretical knowledge and to concentrate on concrete study, criticism and self-criticism. Weakness in the ideological level will turn into errors in the political field, which will ultimately manifest themselves into mistakes in the organizational level.

"Over a long period we have developed this concept for this struggle against the enemy: strategically we should despise all our enemies but tactically we should take them all seriously. This also means we must despise the enemy with respect to the whole but that we must take him seriously with respect to each and every concrete question. If we do not despise the enemy with respect to the whole, we shall be committing the error of opportunism. But in dealing with concrete problems and particular enemies we shall be committing the error of adventurism unless we take them seriously. In war, battles can only be fought one by one and the enemy forces can only be destroyed one by one. The same is even true of eating a meal. Strategically, we take the eating of a meal lightly - we know we can finish it. But actually we eat it mouthful by mouthful. It is impossible to swallow an entire banquet in one gulp. This is known as piecemeal solution. In military parlance, it is called wiping out the enemy forces one by one." - Mao Zedong

Knowing that the prisoncrats hate to lose ground to the prisoner population, whether it be an inch or a mile, it then becomes the duty of the strikers to focus all of their efforts into wiping out the most debilitating aspects of their oppression one-by-one. One way of doing this is to de-fang their paper tiger (SHU), thereby rendering it next to useless.

Some might argue that the most debilitating aspect of the SHU is the long-term isolation. We must keep in mind that the oppressors will never give up this method of torture and oppression; it's too effective.

Instead We must focus on winnable battles and while We can't at this time shut down the SHUs, We can fight going there.

It is the debriefing process that keeps people sent to the SHUs and locked in the SHUs past their kick-out dates, and it is the debriefing process that turns people into snitches and ensures that more people enter the SHUs rather than leave it.

If and when the debriefing process is finally defeated then the strikers can move on to a secondary and less crucial aspect of the 5 Core Demands which should then be able to gain primary importance, and so on and so forth. It is in this way that the piecemeal solution is applied.

Stay strong and stay committed!

All power to the oppressed!

chain
[Censorship] [Education] [Civil Liberties] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
expand

Expanded Censorship from Hunger Strike

The recent strike has unleashed a new round of censorship here in Pelican Bay. It's crazy that the very issue that CDCR claims to be "working on changing," that is 'Group Punishment,' is the very thing they are still doing by punishing everyone for the strike. Administrators from Sacramento came in their suits to beg prisoners they label falsely as 'worst of the worst' to stop striking and told them that if they stop there will be no retaliation, and yet here we are getting our political literature censored because of participation in the strike!

The state is so sick that it is not enough to keep prisoners locked in solitary confinement for years. It shows the cruelty, the depravity of what we are up against, and so when I think of so called 'constitutional rights' I know in my heart that these so called rights don't apply to me or any other prisoner in Amerika. When I'm denied even the ability to think, this is when I know the intention is to destroy me mentally and psychologically.

This is what the Security Housing Units (SHU) is used for - destruction cut and dried, there is no other reason for the modern day control unit, it's used to break you down by all means necessary. Whatever it is you enjoy is taken. If you like the fresh air we will have lock down, loss of yard privileges, etc. If you like to watch TV the power will go out throughout the week or COs can simply take your TV for 90 days. If you like to read, your books and newspapers will be denied and censored. If you like to write certain people they will stop your mail, return to sender and claim this address is a mail drop, etc. The list goes on and on. This is all done to get people to collaborate with the state in order to get out of SHU.

So as people go about living their life, or even for people incarcerated who have no idea of the active repression many face, I say it's real and be ready for the same repression. I have gone years having my literature from MIM and ULK censored and I have learned not to rely solely on ULK or MIM Distributors but to study on my own or with others. And when I do receive some political science literature, some revolutionary history, I read it over and over and discuss it with others so that I remember it and expand my understanding of it.

What we are experiencing now in the SHU with the new censorship will become common as prisoners in Amerika become more progressive and revolutionary. It is for this reason that people should prepare for this repression just as urgently as one would prepare for a hurricane or earthquake or any other disaster. To disregard this will leave one with nothing, no lifeline to truth, no theoretical nourishment, and most of all no guidance.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade raises an important point about the value of political literature and the need to prepare for censorship. We face censorship across the country in so many prisons it is hard to keep track. But it is never sustained forever, sometimes we can get past the censors after a few months of appeals, sometimes it takes years and a court case, sometimes there is nothing obvious that changes but suddenly literature is allowed back into a prison. Regardless of the reasons for the censorship or the victories against it, it's clear that we need to get as many people as possible on the ULK mailing list to maximize the distribution, and those receiving it and other literature need to share it, create study groups, discuss what they are reading, and spread the word.

With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows indefinite detention without charges or trial, the U.$. population is becoming more aware of the emptiness of "constitutional rights." There are no rights, only power struggles, as this comrade explains.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

My People

Six by twelve food cell feeling like
A freshly dug six foot hole
It's the sixth suicide since December
And it's only six twenty-four
I sit and try to forget
When all that's possible is remember
To bleed with no trace of blood
It's like a death with no hug
Dying a death minus the roses
Is like living a life with no one
I called your name at midnight
Took an hour for the echo
I saw your face in my sleep crying
Whispering, whispering alone, whispering to no one
I'll turn twenty-five in two months
But look sixty in the mirror
I'll never forget the smell of vanilla
Us stoned sweetly contented together
I can do a whole year in only a month
I've eaten the same meal five years
The same bologna for dinner, breakfast and lunch
Same curls, shrugs and decline pushups
I can maintain because I know one thing
My life is tied to something larger
I will survive for only one purpose and that's to see my people suffer
No longer

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

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

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

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

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 23]
expand

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

chain