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[Economics] [Theory] [United Front] [ULK Issue 17]
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Lumpen United Front: Its Basis and Development

United Front in Prison

The basis for unity among lumpen is class. The lumpen are the disenfranchised who derive from the economically depressed areas - the Barrios and ghetto projects - and are for the most part oppressed nations people. The lumpen are known to the oppressor nation as the 'criminal element' which is code word for persyn of color. The lumpen usually come from a lumpen organization that the oppressors call a 'gang,' or survive as some type of parasitic hustler. Although we do make choices, often times in imperialist society our choice to engage in crime is a logical one due to the national oppression we endure.

As communists it is our job to fully understand the laws of social development, and the lumpen are an essential part of these laws today, especially here in the imperialist stronghold. In Marx’s theory of ‘social relations of production’ lies the question of ownership, that is what ‘class’ owns the tools and what ‘class’ uses the tools. In this imperialist society the lumpen neither own nor use the tools. We are excluded from production and live under the heel of capitalist relations of production. The propertied class has monopolized the productive forces. The lumpen play a crucial role in Amerika in the creation of new productive forces that will come into contradiction with the decaying social relations of production. The current economic crisis is helping to streamline this process.

The lumpen is a class, regardless of what nationality one comes from; we all have similar relations to the tools of society and the distribution of society’s wealth. It is a group that experiences the same oppression and is fighting the same imperialist monster.

It is understood that as national oppression exists it is thus only natural for there to also be national liberation struggles to combat the unevenness in this society, and for revolutionary national struggles to work to bring safety to the people who live in a constant police state in areas of the oppressed nations. This is the correct stance in the face of any oppression. But we can't get caught playing the same dog-eat-dog game that the imperialists play on us and our fellow lumpen. We need an Aztlán Liberation Front that is in unity with the lumpen.

The lumpen in Amerika must begin to realize that we are a class and lumpen fighting lumpen does nothing to liberate any oppressed nation. On the contrary, lumpen-on-lumpen crime will only strengthen the imperialist vice grip on our necks! This is why unity amongst the lumpen is the first step to liberation of all oppressed nations in the United $tates. We don't have to agree on everything, but we must have unity and work together with the full realization that we are up against not just the same monster but one that happens to run the world militarily.

It is essential for the lumpen to come together in a united front in order for liberation to ever be a reality on these shores. Without the critical element of the united front, liberation struggles of any kind are simply idle talk and will not produce. The function of the united front for the oppressed nations and ULK should be 1) to practice peoples' power within the prison system and thoroughly politicize the U.$. prison system, and 2) to practice peoples' power within the Barrios and ghetto projects out in society and thoroughly politicize these oppressed nation areas. These functions should be done with the idea of preparing these grounds for future insurrection.

Lumpen Unite with the International Proletariat!

The basis for unity between the lumpen and the international proletariat is again class-based. The lumpen are connected to the international proletariat by their common oppression by the imperialists and their popular resistance to this oppression. What we must keep in mind is the imperialists think and act on a global scale so we must do the same. Just as many have used the saying "don't show up at a gun battle with a knife," we don't want to show up with a "not in my backyard" mentality when the imperialists show up with an international colonization mentality. We must think of the big picture and on a grand scale of things. Of course we must first work in a particular area, as MIM(Prisons) works primarily with the prison population, to start from one area and eventually expand to include larger or multiple fronts of struggle. All our efforts should be with the intention of chipping away at imperialism.

Regardless of one's oppressed nation, it really is the same struggle against the same opponent. Currently this is seen unabashed by the imperialists' mega-prison system housing millions of Brown, Black, Red and Yellow people. It is seen in people of color hunted down in urban communities by the police and shot dead as if there were safaris in the inner cities. It is seen in the unequal treatment that has been festering in Amerika for over 500 years, the lynching of the body and the lynching of the mind. Therefore, it is not just understandable or justified but damn right necessary for these oppressed peoples to struggle for national liberation. Until New Democracy is achieved, as Mao spoke of, and we finally achieve equality for all in all aspects, the oppressed nations should continue to struggle for self-determination.

As communists we should always maintain focus on our goal of international communism rather than degenerating to simply Brown capitalism or Black capitalism, etc. This is why our unity must be with the international proletariat in mind as this will be our moral compass. Some may say or think "If I can liberate my people in this or that country why would I care about countries in another part of the world?" Well, as I've said before, we are all up against the same monster that cannot be defeated by one group of people, and even if one could somehow liberate one group of people, the imperialists worldwide would smash this isolated nation. We saw it happen in Grenada.

When Marx and Engels put together the theory of communism, it was with internationalism in mind as they saw even back then that the bourgeoisie would not sit back and allow the people to begin liberating themselves. We must always work in unity with the international proletariat in order to rise from lumpen to true revolutionary. Only then will we liberate our people.

La Lucha Continua!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade did a good job of stressing the importance of internationalism in the united front, and in particular pointing out that the international proletariat must be our moral compass. The question we need to ask though is to what degree the imperialist country lumpen's interests are united with the international proletariat, and therefore how they fit into the united front as a class. What this comrade wrote about the need to support everyone's national liberation is true for any oppressed nation in the world, but we face particular challenges due to our material conditions.

MIM(Prisons) sees the lumpen in the United $tates as a bourgeoisified lumpen, in that the whole country benefits from imperialism in the form of basic needs like food, clean water, electricity, etc. as well as in the form of cheap consumer goods. The latter allows the lumpen to own small amounts of capital, creating a spectrum of wealth where a minority in the lumpen organizations are at the level of national bourgeoisie due to their relations to production, distribution and ownership. Even for the relatively poor majority of the lumpen class, a combination of state welfare and the drug game have allowed for access to the material benefits of imperialism the proletariat do not have.

We are watching closely the efforts of the white nation to take away welfare and local drug markets from the lumpen, as well as jobs from the undocumented. Even if these trends are successful, we see compradors among the lumpen and a popular desire for and belief in the Amerikan dream. While the lumpen are a class forced into criminality, there is a class consciousness and culture that derives from this criminality that is individualistic and parasitic. As this comrade alludes to, there is a transformation that must occur to replace the lumpen mentality (in particular its capitalistic elements) with a proletarian one. No national liberation struggles can succeed in this country without tackling this great challenge.

In addition, a growing lumpen class due to imperialist crisis will also touch the white nation. As we wrote about in ULK 14, a declassed white population is the makings of fascist foot soldiers. History has shown this to be the case for oppressor nations. So we agree with the author's alternating use of lumpen and oppressed nations in most cases, but disagree when s/he says the lumpen have the same interests regardless of nationality. Only if the oppressor nation lets go of its white privilege would this be true. This is an even stronger reason why a thesis that the lumpen in general in the U.$. are a progressive force does not hold true.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 17]
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Silent Accusation II

Give us rest, give us time
To sort out why our country doesn't realize
Torture laws and racism exist
And there's more to life than
Those Seinfield reruns you missed
As long as you have a Mazda Miata
With a full tank and a pack of smokes
You couldn't care less about 500,000 dead Iraqi children
Less names to intrude on your child's
Santa Claus naughty or nice list!?! folks?
A dead man hangs from an air vent
As a bunch of cowards laugh at him
But this man's dying breath
Pleaded for me to seek justice for him
And the justice will multiply a thousand fold
Because my strength is endless
I've chosen to pick up a revolutionary cause
And the world's vendettas
Against my supposed country
I'll carry the progressive red flag
And your overweight greedy amerikkkans
Will finally understand the meaning of sad
It's a true emotion that bubbles from within
Totally opposite than your sugar come down
And more human than your bullshit "sin"
Ring around the rosey and pop goes the weasel
Is that spittle on your lip Mr Vegetate?
Dialectics is jet fuel to your racist diesel
Give us rest, give us time
To sort out this mess we've made of our lives
Give us a chance to pay for our crimes
You have our bodies, some of our minds
What more do you want?
More pain and some fines!
Take his rigid body and cut it down
Call him worthless, call him clown
I called him friend, his mother's son
Look at his face, look what you've done

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[USSR] [Environmentalism] [Texas]
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Debating Stalin

I'm writing in response to the article "Gulf Oil Spill: It's Capitalism, Stupid!", and wanted to address one issue within the article. In this prisoner's article, he states that "this type of disaster would have had a very small to nil chance of happening in the former Soviet Union (1917-1953) [The Lenin and Stalin era] or the socialist People's Republic of China (1949-1976), because those communist countries wouldn't have had to do the extensive drilling that the First World seems so caught up with. Why? It is exactly because the communist countries implement something called 'planned economics,' to meet human needs."

We must be careful what we teach in regard to a better government when using the Stalinist era. This individual's comment regarding "planned economics" is wrong, it was not implemented peacefully but through violence. He should read about Stalin's seven year plan and the collectivization of property and farms. History reflects that Stalin killed over 20 million of his own country men, so using him or that era as an example is misguided. Stalin was a tyrant, a pathological killer. I would not name his era as one of humanity's finer points, nor look up to his "planned economics" which cost so many of his countrymen's lives.

Additionally, the Soviet Union's record regarding ecological and environmental disasters is one of complete failure and surpasses the United States record on a grand scale, both under the Stalinist era and even today.

It is ok to believe in one form of government or a goal of government, but let's not distort the past to build a better future as this is nothing more than an illusion in which we all already live under in America.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The original author was correct to uphold the Soviet Union and China as examples of environmentalism. In 1942, under Stalin's leadership, the city of Moscow composted all of the waste of its 4,000,000 inhabitants. The biothermal process heated large "greenhouse farms" in the city, while the resulting compost was used as fertilizer.(1) With all the talk of "green cities" in the United $tates, there are no projects that rival what the Soviets were doing 70 years ago. Similarly, China and the Soviet Union had massive recycling programs for metal decades before such things became fashionable in the imperialist countries. Also note, that if one were to do a quantitative comparison of socialist vs. capitalist environmentalism, one must compare countries of the same time period, reflecting similar ecological knowledge.

This letter gives us a chance to debunk some myths about the Stalin era in the Soviet Union in general. First, we want to be clear that state capitalism, which was put into place in the Soviet Union after Stalin's death, does not reflect Stalinism or any form of socialism. Therefore this author is just confusing the issue by complaining about environmental disasters there today. Second, we must point out that the article in question never claims that planned economics was an entirely peaceful process. However, we must be very clear that it was Stalin's policies and practices that enabled the Soviet Union to industrialize the Soviet Union, defeat Hitler and put an end to fascism, in spite of the purposeful non-interference policy of countries like the U.$. who hoped to stand aside and let fascism wipe out communism.

This letter reflects the typical anti-Stalinist propaganda of the imperialist countries who like to claim that Stalin himself killed over 20 million people, as if one man could possibly be so powerful. The reality is that many people died during the fight against fascism, and in fact Stalin himself did order or oversee many deaths of spies and those suspected of being infiltrators for the fascists. In this way Stalin ensured that the Soviet Union was the only country free of a Fifth Column of fascist spies and infiltrators. This made it possible for him to do what no other country could even come close to accomplishing, in spite of the lack of development and widespread poverty in the Soviet Union, and defeat Hitler. The aggressive industrialization and collectivization reflected the needs of the Soviet Union at the time those policies were implemented.

This letter includes the usual imperialist propaganda of labeling Stalin a pathological tyrant rather than looking at his actions and evaluating them scientifically. It's easy to sling around names masquerading as political criticisms. But when we look closely at Stalin's record and his policies we can see a history of carefully evaluating the difficult conditions of the time and making decisions about what to do based on the reality of those conditions. When you have the fascists amassing on your borders, planning invade and massacre your population to put in place a system of tyranny and oppression, sometimes the best options to fight those fascists don't involve picking flowers and singing happy songs. Without industrialization the Soviet Union could not have defeated Hitler (even Hitler saw this) and with an active Fifth Column of spies the fascists would have had the inside track on Soviet activities. In wartime difficult decisions must be made, and the world is lucky that Stalin was a man able to make these decisions scientifically, without sentiment, or we could be living under global fascist rule today. As it was the Soviet Union lost more than 20 million people to the war against the fascists. The number of lives saved by his victory in the war is never something he gets credit for, but even deaths from starvation due to the conditions of war are something his critics like to count as if Stalin had personally executed every single person who died during his leadership.

For more on Stalin we recommend MIM Theory 6, The Stalin Issue.

notes: 1. Anna Louis Strong, The Soviets Expected It, Toronto: Progress Publishing, 1942, p.15.

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[Abuse] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York]
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Murder at Clinton

It happened again! These vicious ass wild boars killed another brother here in Kkklinton maximum facility. Sunday morning October 3, 2010 approximately 9:10 am the roughshod started as brother Leonard Strickland was assaulted while being moved from one cell to another cell. As it played out on the news that following night I became greatly agitated. The media (4th branch of government) accused brother Leonard Strickland of assaulting the guard which is malarkey (those are the only facts the administration has!). These wild boars say that so they can justify their use of deadly force. Another thing the media (WPTZ 5) said was that "prisoner Leonard Strickland was incarcerated for weapons possession serving 20 years to life" as if that justified his death! We asked, what does his crime or time have to do with the malicious taking of his life. And these sorry ass inmates continue to worry about losing CINEMAX TV. The subliminal message was to all of NYSDOCS sympathizers that you shouldn't feel sorry for a "Inmate" who was convicted of any crime!

Annually there are 1-2 murders here in KKKlinton. KKKlinton also has a notorious reputation not only for killing the Black and Brown but also for covering it up as well (Suicide or Medical Complications).

On October 5, 2010, Superintendent Thomas LaValley had an emergency meeting with the Inmate Liaison Committee (ILC) to sift the mood of the population and ask the representatives questions on the murder, which he and his team calls an "incident."

Bottom line is they are lying! They beat brother Leonard Strickland then threw him down a flight of stairs. He was then handcuffed and never regained consciousness. Of course the administration consisting of Supt. LaValley and his Executive Team all lied when they told the ILC "Leonard Strickland was subdued and was walked to the facility hospital (approx. 100 yards). In reality he did not walk because he was unconscious/dead. The State Police stated Leonard Strickland was pronounced dead at 10:45am. On top of all of this, his property has disappeared. The so called Inspector General (IG) didn't leave a name or contact card with any prisoner. Many assumed it was IG because after the many deaths over the years it's easy to recognize them.

There is an imminent danger that fills these prison walls and most importantly it's the Black and Brown prison population that's in peril! Since I came here in 2006, there have been five murders and a profusion of brutality on the Black and Brown by the all white wild boars called correction officers. I've been told by the administration "it's not a race thing." Well I beg to differ! I asked when was the last time a caucasian "allegedly" assaulted staff and his death followed? When was the last time they kicked a caucasian's teeth in, broke his nose, wrist and ribs or stomped, kicked, punched etc.? The reply was "I'm going to have to get back to you on that!" Can you believe that???

As you see, we are literally sitting ducks. Who knows, I might be next for writing about what I see although my time here "is" limited. Now check this out... The State of New York wants to hire 1,000 more young boars!!!

I forgot to mention this, the ILC requested an emergency meeting in June 2010 with Superintendent Thomas La Valley to try and resolve the multiple staff assaults on prisoners that always ended in having no merit. He refused to attend the emergency meeting and less than four months after, Leonard Strickland was killed by these cowards. This all took place less than six months after Superintendent Thomas La Valley took over in KKKlinton. He allowed for the wild cowboy attitude to persist and this led to Leonard Strickland's live being extinguished.

This article referenced in:
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[International Connections] [Rhymes/Poetry] [Utah] [ULK Issue 18]
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One Love

Cats and dogs raining down my window
Dust bunnies roaming around my floor
Learned worms crawling around my stomach
Telling me I was taught to want more
These measly maggots at war with science
And what's before us as real and true
I pump my blood until the skin stretches
Sweat drips onto the concrete like Chinese tea
Searching each repetition the puddle's reflection
For truth
The same as I do each USW study lesson
For a MC's guidance into deeper realms
Blood starts to puddle and pool with my sweat
I question from where but continue my pace
Letting the itch of it linger on my face
Three cold meals and denials at mail call
Four cold walls and a solitary cot
One man alone with only one thought
Your punk denials will breed lawsuits
And my stomach turns cold to hot
We, comrades, are part of something larger
More human than "Jesus" dying on a cross
Steering the people through minefields of hate
Aware it's a privilege we even ate
A species on the sad cusp of extinction
One vanguard, one chance, one reason
As planet Earth spins out the seasons
Survival of the fittest as Amerikkka weakens
One love comrades —- Our species

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[Control Units]
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Home Sweet Home

Go to your bathroom door and kick a hole in it. Now lock yourself in tight. Throw all your hygiene items, except a toothbrush and toothpaste tube, out the hole. Everything. Now go sit. The light switch disappears and the shower splits. A little speaker replaces them. It listens and sometimes speaks to you, laughs at you, taunts you, tells you your sufferings entertaining. You can't shut off the light with no switch and you'll have to shower using the sink. As you sit you hear ten or so voices outside the door. That's funny, sounds like that guy who robbed my mother's house last year and put her in a wheelchair after brutally beating and raping her. It can't be! Is that the judge that let the man run free too? And his twisted attorney? Why they here?

The worst enemies you could imagine, or put a face to, have just moved into your house as you sit in the bathroom. These people wish you harm of the utmost, and your death would be nothing but joy to them. All your food, and any mail you might be expecting, will have to come from these "squatter-enemies." Good luck!

To make matters worse, these enemies of yours control all your heating, air conditioning, water form your sink and to your toilet. And to top it off, if they see you sleeping they'll kick the door and yell at you, then laugh.

You can hear these men day and night right outside your door. You smell them Bar-B-Qing and smoking. You're hungry. You can hear these men torturing people. Sometimes other people in similar bathrooms next to yours are pulled out and placed in body bags. To these "squatter's" amusement.

A day passes this way.

"My god," you say "what have I done to deserve this?"
A week passes
You cry
A month
You attempt suicide but your vein closes up before death
A year

You are now talking to yourself and running around naked. You are convinced the food you seldom receive, that's halfway edible, is poisoned. As you eat the rotten "meat" your beard and mustache get in the way of the teeth chewing. You couldn't cry if life depended on it. And it used to. But you've forgotten why.

Two years.

You can't remember. You've forgotten. Forgotten what? You don' know. The "squatter-enemies" come around and you look at them. They look at you. They laugh. You start to laugh too. You forgot why. But you do.

Three years.

You sleep 20 hours a day. You can't help it. But your floor's clean. You keep it spotless. You don't know why. But you do. You're skinny. You've lost an easy 60 pounds. Your skin's turning yellow and your legs cramp up and atrophy. You don't want to die anymore. Why bother? You'd rather sleep and dream. The dreams are so vivid. More real than these walls.

Five years

You go home, you leave your bathroom, this year they tell you that. But why? Where do I go? I don't want to leave now. I like my tub and sink…


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade vividly describes the torture that is found in control units in prisons across the U.$. The criminal injustice system uses the torture chambers as tools to break the will of politically conscious prisoners. It is one more weapon in the criminal injustice system's work of social control. For more information about these units and what you can do to join the fight, see our campaign against prison control units.

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[National Oppression] [ULK Issue 50]
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Black Panther or Aryan Soldier

With extreme I compose this essay in hopes to shed light on a prison-related issue of national oppression and prison organizations. The Black Panther Party (BPP), and similar organizations, are not entirely made up of Blacks. Far from it. This is because the BPP's whole creed and politics center around non-racism and equality. Whereas you must be 100% white to become an aryan soldier (AS). And an AS's whole creed revolves around that fact. Literally the 14/88 of the aryans stands for "we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."(14 words) and the 88 precepts are set at that exact number because the eighth letter in the alphabet is "H." and "HH" stands for Heil Hitler! And I'm sure readers are familiar with the Nazis.

Aryans believe in and support such myths as Valhalla (palace in which the souls of slain heroes feasted for eternity) and Valkyries (maidens who selected heroes destined to be slain in the battle and escorted them to Valhalla) geared from ancient Norse mythology. Whereas Panthers believe in and support science and a thing called "materialist dialectics" which basically states contradiction exists in everything [everything that's not a fairy tale or myth] and in order to embrace reality, or change it if you wish, one must understand these contradictions inherent in things.

If we were to look at the reason why an aryan has time for nursery rhymes and fictional deities we'd see it's because the white imperialist elite system these aryans live in already supports such idealist metaphysical ideals. And in truth, a person who doesn't oppose a system thereby supports that system, as silence is taken as acceptance of that system.

And why not? The 14 million children who starve to death annually and the over 500,000 Iraqi children who've died because of U.$. sanctions aren't white children. If one of our white baby Jessicas slips down a hole we aryan nation amerikans pull out all the stops. And I say aryan nation because history has shown the U.$. leaves these aryan gangs and organizations alone. At least compared to what the U.$. government did to the Black Panthers. Has anyone ever heard of a COINTELPRO (counter intelligence FBI program) roundup of aryans? Inside of Amerika? Just look at how long it took the U.$. to step in and oppose the nazis.

So why isn't an aryan soldier deemed a threat but a Panther is?

Is it because the Panthers actually voice dissent at a system that allows millions of children to starve to death? At a system that wars for profit and imprisons for the simple fact you are not white, or rich enough to dodge the bullet? Because the Panthers use statistics and percentages:


U.$. Black incarceration rate per 100,000: 1,947
U.$. white incarceration rate per 100,000: 306(1)
Iraqi children killed because of U.$. sanctions (1996): 500,000 (2)

Not folklore and myth to attempt to grasp reality, they're "dangerous" and deemed a threat to the white elitists who run the amerikan military, and prison industries.

A Panther seeks an end to all wars. What is the aryan soldier's take on the issue of war? They don't have one. Unless it's the willingness to join the U.$. military and fight for "their" country. A Panther will not join the military out of moral and ethical beliefs.

And then we come to "choice of words" or "manners" that these two groups have adopted over time because their environments have forced such polarities. A person in the aryan soldier brotherhood has time to write about and justify his tattoos. He could be seen as a man who isn't in no hurry at all. No danger for this man or his people is imminent. He thinks of tattoos. And justifying himself and his gang.

But a panther worried about the deaths of his friends, loved ones and comrades, at the hands of an aryan system, will speak with an entirely different tone of voice. Because he must hurry, it's life or death for him, his family and 15 million children annually. His people. The ones oppressed and dying because of this white elitist aryan system of government.

It's like this. You and a friend are walking toward the Grand Canyon. 1,000 yards away your buddy turns around and walks backwards smiling at you. You say, "funny, but we're far away from the cliff. nice tattoos." At about 500 yards you say "well dude, better face forward or you'll walk over the cliff." At 5 yards you're not going to smile and say "please"; you'll grab him; or if he's too far away, you'll scream "stop! now!" even if it hurts his feelings or upsets him.

Unless you'd rather talk about his hair style or tattoos. Unless you don't care if he (15 million children) die. Would it make a difference to an aryan soldier what color this man's, 5 yards from a cliff's edge walking towards it backwards, skin was? Most certainly it would. Read the 14 words.

Even though I'm a white "redneck," I am very put off by aryan soldiers. I personally am ashamed and embarrassed when anyone tries to support or stick up for "14/88" or "skinhead($)". And, i guess, this makes me a race traitor to these people, and a captive that sticks up for "undesirables." But I don't care. I'm already deemed a "threat to the community" and a "terrorist" in most people's eyes. What's a group of Nazis 'hating on me' going to add to the state of Utah's and government's already dislike for my anti-imperialist person? Nothing.

To justify a Black Panther and their beliefs is progressive and correct. To (attempt to) justify a white supremacist is backwards and frightening to the world's majority.

Notes:

1. MIM Theory 11: Amerikkkan Prisons on Trial, p. 59.
2. Arundhati Roy, "Power Politics", p. 111.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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In the Belly of the Beast

In the belly of the beast
the prisyners are the pigs' feast
We are beat like Rodney King
We are physically disabled
The things that goes on behind these walls and bars are unbelievable
written complaints
of the perilous use of restraints
the oppressors
are the real aggressors
comrades buried under gym floors
Maoist Internationalist Ministry is kicking in the oppressors doors
United soldiers fighting oppression from within
Instead of rehabilitation
we're getting corruption and retribution
if we stand and fight against this oppression with our all.
One day we will knock down the oppressive wall
so fuck all oppressors is what I say
and ending oppression is what I pray.

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[Organizing] [California]
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Call for SNYs to Take Up Anti-Imperialist Action

In response to the feelings expressed in ULK14 [on the issue of Special Needs Yard(SNY) prisoners]...I stand on the side of a General Population(GP) active convict for what it's worth as an anti-capitalist imperialist. And i can't stand the SNY population. But I deal with the existence, because it is a reality of California imprisonment.

I've gone back and forth from the main line to the hole for the lifestyle I lead behind these walls, and I come across SNYs like it's the new GP. The respect and conduct of the average SNY who blames his even more unfortunate situation of enslavement is terrible, because there is little to no order on that side. It's been told to me by various individuals that it's an each-to-his-own system, while being observed that there is no accountability.

I'm not an SNY hater, nor a paper tiger, but a true comrade against a police state in the existence of the social camps within this CDCR, LLC Control System. While you are allowing yourself to be divided into a sensitive mass, you are allowing our masters/captors to continue their control, rule, and conquer of the old convict structure.

Yea you already did that, we can't achieve any type of revolutionary goal by knocking each other off in person or on paper. Fuck wut others are talking about if it's a GP vs SNY discussion because no matter what, you ain't gone come on my side and I ain't gone be on your side.

Do something to impress the mass that SNYs can be revolutionaries too. Instead of snatching up lines and doing unnecessary yelling, shouting, and banging on the doors while the GPs are attempting to sleep at night in the hole. Observe the fact that SNYs are in the position to stop the production of PIA industries in Cali and cause the state to lose money in large sums. If you really as effective with the civil law as you claim, why don't you organize an action for the mass on the issue of the appeal system in general, or the poison (arsenic lead) that is given to most prisoners in the water.

I personally say it's too much talking and not enough action. Take responsibility that you busted under pressure on an individualist need, or desire. And learn from the experience. What I as a part in this struggle for liberation from this belly of the beast think about you as an individual means, or does nothing to advance our struggle against capitalist-imperialism in USA territory. Stay focused revolutionaries.

A nation divided can never stand together, but a nation united can. We will never come to recognize each other as equals fighting for the same cause of liberation, under the same conditions as long as we attempt to prove ourselves to ourselves instead of the people.

To the SNY population I say prove yourself to the people that you are more than what some say. Prove to the people that there isn't a major difference from SNY yards and GP yards. If you are so active, I challenge you to truly begin implementing the actions needed to get the force of imperialism off not only your backs but also the backs of the GPs.

I agree that the GP population as a whole collective of parts are very divided and un-unified. So seeing that the SNYs have their struggle a little more advanced than ours, why don't you all kick it off with organized boycotts, and sit in peaceful protests on the matter of the corrupted appeal system?


MIM(Prisons) responds: Despite having an anti-SNY bias, this is a principled approach to the divisions that the CDCR likes to promote. As this comrade points out, there is no question of SNY and GP working side-by-side, so each needs to organize where they are at. And we want to see people hitting the pavement to show who's doing more for the prison population as a whole, because at this point in time no one has much to brag about.

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[Organizing] [Security] [California]
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Special Needs Yard debate continues

Response to SNY critic article published in the July/August 2010 ULK, #15, p.5

As is typical, I have ruffled some feathers on the SNY yard when I pointed out my personal sentiments regarding the SNY/general population issue. I criticized both SNY/GP as a matter of fact and the SNY cat asked what have I personally done. He would have to look up this history of John Q. Convict, an aka I have written under in various publications and prison news letters. I have blisters on my fingers from doing others' legal work and appeals as well as writing about what I experience and see. I am again on my way back to the SHU till I am paroled since I am not nor have I ever been one to be a passive submissive sheep nor am I in competition with anyone, I just keep it real.

It's ironic but I have had five CDCR numbers and I have experienced a lot. Maybe I am crazy to rather go to the SHU than exist on an SNY yard but I started doing time in the 70s and prisoners were a lot different then. The misconception I see in the term "active" as that is a prisoncrat designation of gang members (prison/street). Read the regulations of the CDCR and you know. I have never been one to tell on myself yet I see prisoners do it all the time enhancing CDCR/California Department of Justice investigatorial files that exist, yet we will never access, as one can other confidential files via court order.

Do not get me mixed up, I am not "active," I am "General Population" and I have seen how the California prisoner culture has succumbed to the tyranny of the prisoncrats with a whisper. Yes some get frightened and are keen to become SNY and bow to a perceived necessity in what I believe to be a misguided belief that such necessity forces conformity and that conformity allows for stability in which some can enjoy the "privileges" of visiting, canteen, telephones, packages. They are not rights that are guaranteed by the constitution. I elect to not conform in this prison environment.

I am a dissident who stands out and I am easily branded and locked back down but they always got to let me back out. I do not get visits or have money sent to me by choice, it's so I do not subject my family to the harassment that visiting presents, and the CDCR does not collect 55% of every dollar my family sends to me. I tried to point out that we prisoners are all victims of picklesuit tyranny, and yes I feel like those who volunteer to go to SNY have abandoned the struggle to a certain extent. I see the victims of the picklesuits assume the face of the tyrants, be they GP/SNY self-righteous and intransigent, while assisting the picklesuits instigate conflicts.

There is not a lockdown situation in the state of California that I have not experienced, and I do not confuse unity with conformity. I have always believed that prisoners should unite around principals. I have recently been labeled a "terrorist" I am an activist and it is frustrating as hell to try and pull the coats of those in these prisons who have submitted knowingly and unknowingly.

I see that there is the need for the mending of broken spirits on both sides of the California prison divide which is no easy task since it will require the prison population to reshape itself and refuse the gratuitous gifts and reject the privileges used to co-op prisoners as well as the elimination of it being all about self. Prisons use prisoners working in the kitchen or selling out for a fix/hit of dope, utilizing that instinctual will to survive. I do not believe in leaders as they become the focus of compulsive collaboration with the opposition once they are identified, and they are not infallible and such leads to eventual disaster. Yet I have known that principled individuals avoid the natural vices such as greed, betrayal, and the misguided notion that one has to compete without exception as if it's a healthy attribute. Such is and always has been, in my mind, a sad path to self-esteem, an illusion built upon putting ones foot on the neck of another which is what the pickesuits do, and it's not lasting since when they fail to physically and emotionally break my will they become fearful and envious because I have endured what they themselves know they could not. Yes I have on several occasions learned to make due with nothing, making myself mentally and emotionally strong and I survive.

Kudos to any successful SNY litigator. I read Prison Legal News (PLN) each month for the past six years, noting all the successes published there, rarely seeing an instance in which a California prisoner received millions. Even though the state has deep pockets, that 12.2 million eludes my perusal. You should send the decision to PLN so they can publish it as your work.

I also want to point out a simple truth even though our comrades at MIM(Prisons) disagree. In my years of doing time, always General Population, I have learned to read people and I am rarely in error. I can and do note agent provocateurs and quislings as well as those who think they are well hidden and can not be spotted. It's the nature of such individuals to expose themselves. I have never gone to the hole for harming another prisoner over the years I have served. It has always been an issue with the real enemy who has hoodwinked and bamboozled, coerced, pressured or otherwise manipulated the greedy and the weak; of which I am neither.

My view is that SNY prisoners who volunteered to go that route are their own worst enemy and the stigma attached is something that they will have to deal with, as those who dropped out, originally dropped in, when it was fashionable for you, and you were on the hooligan end claiming to be a gang member, telling the pig that you are a gang member, proud to be a gang member till the pack turns on you and then you don't want to be a member any more or you find yourself in a position in which you are facing time and you choose to purchase leniency by telling on your sworn homeboys. But wait, not all SNYs have been snitches, but many have "debriefed" so I must say that the percentages speak for themselves in terms of those who allowed themselves to be used and manipulated to self-detriment. There are still some in GP hiding in the wings.

I was brought up believing that it takes a lot of balls to stand up to adversity and not compromise one's principals. I am constantly educating myself in a variety of subjects. Yet I do not tell others who, what or how they should believe, we all make choices and some ultimately lead to some becoming SNY. I want to be quite clear that I am not any better or worse than any other human being on this earth. We all have faults yet the struggle has never died, it has been altered and manipulated towards personal gain. I am presenting my personal perspective from my years of experience. Though it is true I've never lived on an SNY/PC yard, they do put SNYs on the tier with GP in the ASU/SHU, to my dismay. I am an equal opportunity criticizer since while some focused on SNY, I spoke of both sides of the fence.

I noted years ago that the most illuminating and dangerous place in the prison was the law library as knowledge was power. Yet the time of spending 8 hours a day in the law library has been effectively reduced to one hour and thirty minutes a week if you are lucky and are PLU. I am not here to brag on myself but there are people on the streets thanks to me and new life was breathed into others whose cases were on the ropes.

So since I was asked what I have done, well helping others and standing up to abusive prison staff and officials has resulted in my doing 100% of my term due to my concern for the similarly situated prisoner. Ethnicity never mattered, all came to me. Yet when I think about it I wonder if my sacrifices have been all for naught, as those who instilled the fortitude, stubborn tenacity, and courage to fight back in the 60s and 70s are flip-flopping in their graves about the conditions and backwards steps in California prisons. The ladies put up better fights and they as a result still get stuff that we don't. Some of the prison population put privileges before rights so you enjoy your privileges while they keep chipping away your rights.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This letter is part of an ongoing discussion, started in ULK13, of the controversial issue of the potential for prisoners in Special Needs Yards (SNY) to participate in the anti-imperialist struggle. It is MIM(Prisons)' position that prisoners in all situations can be induced to sell out and serve the needs of the system. And while we recognize the harm done by prisoners debriefing, going to SNY can sometimes involve less cooperation with the pigs than staying in an LO. We can't condemn people for mistakes they made as youth trying to find a place. We need to unite with all who demonstrate, in practice, that they are on the side of the anti-imperialist struggle.

This comrade says he can read people, and is rarely in error. And to an extent we agree. We "read" people by applying work and line standards to our potential comrades. By judging how one completes their work and upholds their line we can judge them as a comrade. The error comes in when you think you know when someone is a cop or snitch or not. You trust people you shouldn't and attack your friends. Even if these errors are rare, they tend to be the most serious. This is why general policies are superior ways to "read" people than looking at individual cases.

This comrade comments that s/he does not "believe in leaders." We agree that security and hero worship are weaknesses of having leaders, and we should work to minimize both of them. However, we also must be materialists and recognize that leaders, including the writer, exist and that leadership is important. A leaderless movement ends up without clear direction and can waste the resources and energy of the masses. Leaderless movements (also known as anarchist) generally end up with de facto leaders - people who are not formally put in positions of leadership but who just take up the lead because of experience or line or a desire for power. These de facto leaders are far more dangerous than elected leaders because there is no mechanism to remove them from power. And this also limits the people's input into the direction of a movement. For these reasons we affirm the communist principle of clear and formal leadership of the revolutionary movement and its organizations, while we work towards a society where no groups of people have power over others.

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