The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? help out
[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Arizona]
expand

Poison to the revolution

Back in the dayz when Amerikka made their power move on our red brothers (indigenous people) to rob them of their land, one of the many tactics used to conquer these proud peoples was to give them and then sell them "firewater" (alcohol). This disabled many of our red brothers ability to fight for their freedom, thus making it easier for the imperialistic blue coated amerikkkan storm troopers to lead many red families into western concentration camps (reservations).

Now today as I look around me I see many potential revolutionaries and even vanguards for the revolution but they are disabled by a similar poison that disabled our red brothers ability to fight. Whether it be called alcohol, heroin, cocaine, meth, PCP, etc. Poison is poison. For a revolutionary to poison himself is to bring poison to the revolution. Don't get it twisted, you are either a revolutionary or a drug addict. You can't be both.

You can never be a valid asset to the revolution in an altered state of mind. And even if you don't use poison but you sell it to the oppressed people of color for your own profit then you are still not a revolutionary but a death merchant who profits off of the weaknesses and misery of your own peoples. The same law applies here. You are either a drug dealer or a revolutionary. You can't be both.

This strategy to feed us the oppressed nationalities poison is still used today by covert operatives of the united states of amerikkka. Don't believe the hype? The CIA played a key part in introducing crack cocaine to the urban communities of Los Angeles, California. Does the name "Freeway Willie" sound familiar? These meat warehouses called "correctional facilities" are not concerned with how much drugs a prisoner sells or uses, their main concern is that we don't escape, don't commit acts of violence against their plantation keepers and that we don't stack up arms. Their concerns are against the very characteristics which make up a revolutionary.

Revolution starts with our minds. If our minds are altered, there is no revolution. If you are down for the revolution, then poison is not in the equation and can never be. Be clean, strong and sober. Fight to win.

chain
[Medical Care] [Gender] [New York] [ULK Issue 12]
expand

Gynecology: legacy of gender oppression

Medical Apartheid

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
by Harriet A. Washington
Doubleday Press, 2007.

I would like to contribute to ULK by adding to every issue a book of the month club to bring consciousness to those already down with MIM. My first book is called Medical Apartheid. It is about J. Marion Sims, a doctor (mad man), who operated on Afrikan wimmin here in the u.$. without anesthesia. He used at least 9 people to hold these sisters down against their will while he took out their ovaries. This caused a medical condition known as Vaginal Fistula, and earned him the moniker of "the father of gynecology."

The people who benefited from his experiments are none other than Caucasian women at that time. Caucasian women make up most of what MIM calls the gender aristocracy. While the patriarchy represents male power over the oppressed female gender, the gender aristocracy are those who support the patriarchy because they benefit from it despite their biological sex.

There is a statue of Sims erected in Central Park honoring his inhumane acts. Those of us living in NYC need to explain the true her-story of what he did to our children who may visit this statue on a field trip. We need to teach them her-story from the perspective of the real gender oppressed, not those who pose as "feminists" and attack the oppressed peoples.

It is important that our people become enlightened about this practice, which was just one example in this book of what we had to endure just for being Afrikan in the united $tates. From the times of slavery to examples in the 1990s, Afrikans have been used as guinea pigs and targeted for racist experiments. It is the gender oppressed who are especially targeted: wimmin, children and prisoners.

The author discusses "iatrophobia," which is the continued fear of doctors that Afrikan people experience under patriarchal imperialism. This fear is based in real life experience, but it also contributes to decreasing our access to needed medical care.

This book is very sad and will open a floodgate of tears for its readers. Hopefully through promoting books like this we can reach our brothers and sisters who wear blue, red, black and gold to stop thinking white!

chain
[Organizing] [ULK Issue 13]
expand

Radio Silence

The only strategy left for us revolutionaries to use who are still hemmed up within these U.$. luxury concentration camps is 'silence.' Silence is a weapon. As revolutionaries and freedom fighters we need to master the vocabulary of silence.

A worldwide tactic for naval warfare is 'radio silence' especially amongst submarines. When radio silence is initiated, the entire submarine goes silent. Thus the enemy doesn't know where this submarine is at, what its commander is planning next, etc. What do you suppose would happen if every prisoner incarcerated within every prison in Amerikkka stopped talking and refused to talk all at once and at the same time? The eerie silence would oppress the oppressor's pawns (prison guards), it would surely cause panic amongst their ranks.

Unfortunately, for every true revolutionary reading this letter, you must be already aware that the character of players within the game done change. Most 'inmates' confined within the U.$. prison system these days have diarrhea of the mouth. Their tongues wag constantly. Hell it almost seems that some of these 'inmates' tongues wake up before their bodies do in the morning. U.$. prison yards are the gossip centers of amerikkka.

There's a hustler's story that I will use as an analogy in this situation. There was once two pimps just hanging out watching their ladies of the night work the strip. As a couple of their ladies walked by them joking and laughing out loud, one pimp turned to the other and said to him, "You hear that? That's music to my ears." The other pimp asked him "Why's that?" The pimp answered, "Because as long as them hos are laughing and joking they're blind to what their lives really consist of."

In a prison guard's case, an inmate's laughter, joking and constant talking is music to their ears. As a population this would make inmates the Hos. Now to go and move the masses into radio silence, this is what we're up against: hustlers whose only concern is the dollar; users who's only concern, and god, is the dope; cowards; haters; countless informants; and those infected by the Stockholm syndrome. Those are the cold hard facts.

Yet, one resolute revolutionary, one disobedient spirit can turn a flock of sheep into a den of lions. Thus we can commence this revolution of silence against all odds with the knowledge that when individual peoples work together for a common purpose there's power available to the group that isn't available to individuals. We can vanguard this move of silence with the wisdom that union is a fundamental basis of power.

That the unity of a people could bring any corrupt evil system to its knees. Let us as a revolutionary people go on a talking strike. This will for sure shake up the system. Silence makes people uncomfortable. It is psychological warfare. Psychologists employ this tactic when with their patients, as interrogators do with people they're questioning. How many people would still be free if they had just adhered to their Miranda rights, "You have the right to remain silent"? Even the good book of proverbs says "In the multitude of words is foolishness."

The choice is of course yours komrades. However let it not be said of a true revolutionary that we came through a system or life itself without leaving an imprint. The time of talk and half measures are over, it's time for action. Enough said. Go silent.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade brings up an interesting tactic that has been used before. What makes it superior to some other sorts of strikes is that it is harder for the pigs to charge someone with some kind of rule violation for not talking. Of course, Malcolm X spent weeks in the hole for refusing to say his number when he first got to prison. And ultimately they often have the power to punish at will, regardless of the rules.

However, generic calls such as these have limited application. We print this as a discussion of possible tactics, but we cannot just throw ideas out on the wind and hope they catch on. We can never execute an effective strike without on-the-ground organizing. Only as part of an organization can we impose limits on those who wish to oppress us, as this comrade acknowledges.

One last criticism, this proposal is not very clear of its scope of application. To promote silence as a strategy would be suicidal for our movement, because our biggest battle is to spread information and organization. Now, thinking before we speak is a whole other story. A true revolutionary must speak and act in ways that fit in with h overall strategy for creating change. A childish culture of talking shit is a product of the lack of education and consciousness among the oppressed. So, to promote a code of conduct that involves only saying things that fit within our political goals, and knowing what to say when and to whom can only come after a thorough education of the population. There is much work for those isolated revolutionaries out there to do before attempting any type of strike or mass action.

chain
[Organizing] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York]
expand

Organizing against resistance

Salutations. As I write this letter you will be feeling what I call my everyday polemical life. My angst is superfluous because I can't believe what I encountered on the 9th through the 13th of September. I personally witnessed Willie Lynch's letter on how to keep us against us while I was helping bring consciousness to the brothers here at Clinton and was met with resistance. It seems that what happened in the past is no longer significant nor appreciated. I'm talking about the Attica rebellion of 1971.

As I expressed solidarity amongst us I attempt to recreate ourselves and adhere to a different form of rules, all while not violating any directives that may lead to an infraction of any sort. I tried to catalyze and show that what happened almost 40 years ago is indeed still taking place today, except there's a lot more tribalism now. I provided a non-violent event which was something totally small. I asked if brothers would, along with the 15% who didn't eat during the 5 days, maintain a verbal fast to show and pay homage to the fallen freedom fighting comrades who were murdered by the government appointed force for standing up to the injustice that is still plaguing our people in prisons today. By fasting from both food and talking I attempt to show how we can get along with each other no matter what gang we are in, no matter what religion we practice. By not eating we show self sacrifice just like the brothers did, and by not talking we show also discipline, again just like those who were in the Attica rebellion did.

Sadly, in my attempts to show and express an affinity between each other I was met with enmity. After a couple of the average "get the fuck out of here with that bullshit" and a few "negro please" I was sure to attract some politically and socially conscious brothers who reminded me that "violence is a dark undercurrent of Amerikan history." Like Pan-Afrikanist Frantz Fanon put it, "What we are witnessing is a psychological and physical reaction to the trauma." Some brothers actually said, "That was then and this is now, why should we respect something that happen before we were even born?" Some went on to say, "Ain't nothing going to change anyway." It's statements like these that show our ignorance!

In fact, take the Civil Rights movement for instance. They started out in small groups and grew in relations with those who were also victims of the desegregated south, and formed a force of mass campaign of civil disobedience! By sticking together and voicing our opinion we spoke volumes of our rights as a people who had little to no rights. We started to register to vote, operate forums, print our own newsletters, to be acknowledged as Afrikan men and womyn. Even today we have Afrikan mayors, attorney generals, CEOs of the largest bank, and President of the United States. After explaining this, more and more participated in the eating and verbal fast, but it wasn't enough.

I think back on how brothers like Herbert X Blyden, Big Black, L.D. Barkeley, John (Mecajaweh) Hill, Sam Melville, Akil Al Jundi, Robin Palmer, just to name a few, gave their lives for brothers to have better programs, and to study the Islamic religion - where there was none. They fought for better schooling, and got children to be considered as visitors so they could visit their loved ones under lock and key. I have much respect and profound gratitude for the Nation of Islam who held order and negotiations. Yet still this vicious ass piece of swine still considered the NOI a hate group. If it wasn't for the good brothers those corruption officers would have been dealt with.

So I say unselfishly, it's not enough! We need to do more to bring some awareness, we need to get our media (BET) to stop playing comedy, music, and hood movies, and instead play some Black August, Motorcycle Diaries, and Malcolm X. We need to become more aware by reading books that deal with the history of struggle against oppression. We need, emphasis on we, need to educate our people with the help of those who also want to see us kick this stigma in the ass.

chain
[National Oppression] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
expand

Immigrants, Migrants, and U.$. Citizens

Kill the BorderThe U.$. is the melting pot of the world. A little bit of everybody and everything dwells in this land. It's the land of opportunity, what do you expect? From the North to the South, and the East to the far West people are tearing down doors to get over to this sorry motha fucka. It's the land of opportunity alright. The opportunity to get beat down, stepped on, and spit all over.

While the people of Third World or impoverished countries are under the perception that this is the place to be, and try to get here. The military agency ICE is sitting right at the top of that barb wired chain linked fence waiting for that opportune time to jump on their back and either allow the exploitation of their labor or send them back to the fucked up environment in which they're running from.

Being an individual born over here in these ununited $tate$, living amongst the imperialists themselves, one might take my opinion of the issue dealing with the border situation, or the incarceration of brothas from other countries who wish to better their situation by taking just a little bit of what these imperialistic snakes have taken from them, as a person who's looking in from the outs.

But trust and believe I'm a brotha looking in from the in. I ain't no U.$. citizen, and I damn sho ain't no Amerikkkan. My pops is of Somoan decent and my moms is a descendant of Africa. Period. I'm an immigrant along with every other individual in this ununited country who isn't indigenous.

Ol Chris and his squad came over here from Europe running from their fucked up conditions looking to receive an opportunity to better their situation and their queen's capitalistic hunger. Where was ICE then? On the same Mayflower boat that brought the first load of African slaves. He probably was the motha fucka who was drivin the boat. When you think about the foundation of the U.$. as an ununited country you should think about immigrants, and border hoppers. Everything from the English, Germans, the French, Dutch, and the Irish were the ones who entered this land trespassing on the Natives.

The only difference from them and many of the Third World countries is they can't stand in the sun too long without being physically burned by father sun, they don't have tight eyes or natted hair, and they don't know the first thing about communism. They are white. They only seek the growth and development of their white imperialistic race, and the destruction of the Third World people and the communistic spirit.

Now I'm not pulling the race card here so don't take it as such. But in order to effectively deal with this issue we must address the underlying fact of the imperialist's white supremacist ideology and concept of white supremacy. Since the beginning of colonial expansion, the white man has been advocating a campaign that he is the superior man of planet earth and all will bow down to him and give praise to him and his seed. In this campaign he has declared war on all nations not acknowledging this supposed superiority and attempted to not only suppress these nations, but knock them out of existence (ie. the First Nations of North America).

When the African slaves began running away from their masters and causing Lady Liberty a great pain in her ass, the Europeans quickly responded with the KKK who in turn attempted to discourage Africans from running off through terrorist attacks. It's no different today except they leave the white robes and swastikas at home. When you think about the ICE agency and what they're all about, all you're missing is the robe and shit.

They allow the poor nations to come over here via border jumping, get a job in the cotton fields, or warehouses, then as soon as they don't need the cheap labor force any longer they either send them to one of the new "social control camps" or knock them out of U.$. existence by sending them back to their imperialist war stricken country.

Hate it or love it, accept it, or reject it. The only way to kill the border problem is by killing imperialism and the ideology that keeps it living.

MIM(Prisons) replies: While overall correct, this comrade fails to distinguish between citizenship of a country and nationality. We agree that, in this country, to be on the side of the oppressed one must renounce any membership in the amerikan nation. We also agree that there are many nations within North America and many of them face oppression by the amerikan and kanadian nations. This is seen in the denial of land rights, mass imprisonment, chemical warfare through narcotics, high death rates from preventable illness and police state terrorism.

However, being a member of an oppressed nation in North America does not mean you're not a citizen. The difference being that, as a citizen, you can legally work and earn exploiter level wages for that work, even if it's harder for you to get than your fellow white citizens. Though migrants often can make much more than their sisters in the Third World, they face exploitation here in the united $tates, and other forms of oppression most legal citizens don't need to fear.

We do agree with the idea that this comrade is not a u.$. citizen because of h position as a prisoner of the state. We look to both prisoners and migrants as potentially revolutionary forces within the u.$. because they do not enjoy full citizenship rights. Aside from the fact that more and more prisoners are migrants, this is the connection that makes the migrant issue very relevant to u.$. prisoners. National liberation struggles will be led by those among the oppressed who have a strong interest opposed to imperialism.

The analogy between ICE and the KKK is right on, though we'd say that the Minutemen are the more direct comparison. ICE differs in that they are very well paid for what they do, not just volunteers for their nation. They both play the role of managing nations of exploited people for the profit of their nation.

One final note on definitions, a question that has come up in discussing this issue is how we use the terms "migrant", "immigrant" and "non-citizen." As stated above, non-citizens are people without legal citizenship rights, and in the u.$., prisoners, while usually legally citizens, might be included in this group or at least considered partial citizens. Immigrants and migrants are both not citizens of the united $tates. But an immigrant is someone who moves to another place to live. Migrants are people who travel from place to place in order to find work. They might not have a home, but they often do have a family that they send money to and would prefer to be with.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
expand

Ride for the people

I... will ride for the people no matter what comes my way at all
I... will die for the cause
Settle for nothing less than all that we rightfully deserve

Vr 1:
Society wanna keep a lock on me
constantly puttin blocks on me
cause I don't see the same thang that they see at home
I stand alone in my poverty stricken environment
Rebellin all the non-sense
Cause I ain't got no peace at home
To the oppressed
I must confess
all the distress
be havin me stressed
and I'm impressed
when I continue to keep on holdin strong
They wanna knock me cause i'm viben off the people's vibe
livin off the people's pride
to throw the snake up off his throne
Death to the oppressor and his capitalist establishment
they censor me cause I advocate communist advancement
I'm keeping Pac alive
Along with the Panther tribe
Revolutionary warfare China's culture style

*hook* two times

Vr 2:
Hot damn
they done labeled me a terrorist
can somebody call up Barrack and tell that fool what terror is
He got the troops slangin black in Afghan
but lockin us up for having crack crumps in our pants
I want his pass revoked
Lock him up in Guantanamo
Can't they see that this type of government ain't gone never grow
They be the ones blowin up countries
pullin them kick does
puttin them bullet holes
in anybody opposin they policies
and I'm the bad guy?
Posted with my poli seeds
fist to the sky
shades on my eyes
waiting til freedom rings
pushing for growth til the day that I die
For the people I bare arms
And for the people I'll ride
cause

*hook* twice

Vr 3 - melody style-

Freedom and justice for humanity
to all my ghetto children of Third World countries
I recognize the divisions in personalities
we must all fight together
and push for equality
cause there be no other way to go about it
If we want to better ourselves
we must confront him
Me be the lion at the front
from the belly of the beast
with the barrel of me pump
lyin right between him teeth
sangin

I...will ride for the people no matter what comes my way at all
I...will die for the cause settle for nothing less than all we rightfully deserve

chain
[Education]
expand

A Plea for Educational Opportunities

Senator Webb,

I am writing on behalf of a great number of Florida prisoners. I have now been incarcerated, day for day, in the State of Florida, for over fourteen years. I was arrested at the age of eighteen, sentenced to serve the rest of my life in prison at the age of twenty, and will be thirty three years of age on Nov 4th, 2009. My first year in the state prison system, between the ages of twenty and twenty-one, I succeeded in earning my GED and completing a vocational course in small business management. After the age of 21, and due to my having a life-sentence, I lost virtually any further opportunity to participate in such prison education programs. At the time (1996-1997) those prisoners under the age of twenty-one were given priority enrollment in such programs - those over twenty-one were given a secondary priority based upon their release dates.

Since then, and over time in general, educational opportunities provided to the prison population collectively and overall, have only become more and more restricted. Not only are we no longer eligible for government grants or loans, but the state funds that were once allotted toward prison educational programs have been both dramatically cut from the state budget and absurdly funneled into other departments of the correctional (in no sense rehabilitative) system - such as those departments which advocate the building of more prisons. In fact, a more than significant amount of the state budget set aside for educational programs outside of the prison system, has gone disproportionately toward that same goal - the building of more, greater restricted prisons. As I write this letter there are many prisons throughout the state that have not a single educational program to speak of, period. On average, a Florida prison houses approximately one thousand prisoners. Of any of these groups of 1000, the vast majority have never attained neither a basic education nor a specialized skill. Without these tools, again and again they will fall by the wayside - as those who are better equipped, for whatever reason, continue to progress. The prison population, not only in the state of Florida but across the country, has boomed, and in many cases has exceeded maximum capacity. Supreme Courts in the State of California have ordered the reduction of its state's prison population by 40,000 people. It is nearing two times maximum capacity. Why?

Of the 40,000 people to be released in the State of California, how many of them will have earned a GED, how many of them will have learned a trade, how many of them will have been given the opportunity to utilize their time in prison with an option to participate in a college level correspondence course, and most importantly of all, how many of them will return, because of the denial or limitation of any or all of these three?

Senator Webb, as I have already stated, I have been sentenced to serve the rest of my life in prison. But it wasn't until some point of my developing life - a period that some would say came too late - that I realized that I was indeed a part of a greater whole. I say this because regardless of my personal circumstances I hold fast to another conviction as well: the fact that I still have a life in which to serve. My service has spanned from both prison classrooms and prison youth tour programs, to prison recreation yards and even disciplinary confinement cells. I have helped both 40 year old men and kids as young as fifteen - yes, kids as young as 15 - learn how to read, write, and work arithmetic. And it is in that same spirit that I wish to be serving now by writing this letter, and giving them (us) a voice.

Senator Webb, I believe service is something you can relate to. I've heard speak of you over the BBC radio broadcasts, I recently read of your trip to Burma in Time Magazine, and your devotion toward the need to improve education, in general, was recently touted in an article published in the periodical Under Lock and Key. Whatever proposals you make, points you debate, objective you've set out to reach, and obstacles that will impede the way ... we would like to play a part as well.

Education, or the lack of, is the most relevant factor in the manifestation of (our) criminal behavior. Whether it be academic, social, moral, or personal...the prison systems of America have very little to provide, if not simply just less and less. Continuing to deny the U.S. prison population this single provision alone, is to continue to promote the ignorance of a system that, per capita, currently has imprisoned more human beings than any other nation in the world. The question why - even among us, the illiterate, is no longer any more profound than it is rhetorical.

Sincerely,

A United States Prisoner

Response from Senator Webb:

response from Sen. Webb on Education

Reply to letter of September 29, 2009:

Dear Senator Webb,
Your letter of Sept. 29, 2009 has been received and upon contemplation it is my conclusion that it was somewhat automated. In no way could my original letter to this office have been construed as concerning my "trial or any of the legal issues surrounding [my] case." Furthermore, my contacting you, a Senator of Virginia, instead of a Senator in the state which I reside, should give credence to the reason. My Desire is to learn more about the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009, and how we (the incarcerated) can help to further that bill. A personal response would be highly praised.

Sincerely,

A United States Prisoner

chain
[Medical Care] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
expand

Prison Health Care System is Inhumane

Health Care is a Straight JacketI was unable to finish reading ULK10 because I was motivated to begin this letter as a contribution to issue 12: Health Care. The front page article "Brutality Leads to Death" by a Texas prisoner describes an almost identical incident that happened here at the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF, in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU).

On September 13, 2009, a prisoner's death occurred here in ASU Housing Unit 6, Cell 128. This prisoner died of a drug overdose, which is being blamed on one of the PM med nurses who was apparently fired and escorted off the grounds. At the same time, they are investigating another prisoner suspected of selling drugs to the prisoner. It should be noted that this unit has video surveillance security cameras.

The fact is, on August 4, 2009, a federal judicial panel found that the entire California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) was in violation of the Eighth Amendment rights of prisoners, that the prison health care system was inadequate and constituted cruel and unusual punishment, and that denial of adequate medical care caused at least one unnecessary death per week. In addition to the federal take over of the prison health care system, CDCR was ordered to reduce prison overcrowding by 40,000 prisoners within the next couple of years.

The most recent prisoner death can only be viewed as a criminally negligent homicide, caused not by the nurse or prisoners, but by the inhumane conditions and treatment we are subjected to every day in these disciplinary segregation units. Prisoners are stripped of all personal property and thrown in an empty cell without basic human necessities, are denied prescribed medications on a regular basis, and are ignored by custody and medical staff when they bang on the door and scream "man down" in the case of a medical emergency.

I have been confined in this ASU for nearly a year, because I "refused to double cell" with a non-compatible, sexually violent predator, a known rapist! As a Jailhouse Lawyer, I am currently pursuing two federal civil rights lawsuits for inhumane treatment, denial of due process and sex discrimination under patriarchy.

The relevance of the ongoing legal battles, deaths of prisoners, and prisoner resistance in relation to the larger anti-imperialist struggle is not lost on me. With all the hoopla about Obama's health care reform proposals in the liberal corporate-controlled media, one can't help but read between the lines and separate the real from the BS.

Let's keep it real, this health care reform will not include prisoners. Additionally, right-wing Republican legislators in congress are already raising a ruckus about inclusion of immigrants. Why not talk about the California prison health care crisis in these national debates? Or the billions of dollars being wasted in the imperialist Iraq war? Money used to commit mass murder to protect the rights of U.$. oil companies should instead be used to solve the economic and health care crises caused by capitalist greed and medical neglect in this country, and in the prison industrial complex! Revolution, not reform, is the only way to stop the oppression, mass murder, and health care neglect under U.$. imperialism.

The program of MIM(Prisons) promotes the "elimination of all oppression - the power of groups over other groups" and "independent institutions...to provide...medical care." Additionally, the MIM Platform states "Abolish the Amerikan prison system...prisoners who do not represent a violent threat to society will be relased." These are steps in the right direction. And so is the struggle against patriarchy and gender oppression!

chain
[Organizing] [California State Prison, Los Angeles County] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
expand

Unity works to combat unreasonable regs

On 4 September 2009, the prisoners of California State Prison - Los Angeles County (CSP-LAC) came together in an act of protest, resistance and solidarity against sadistic pigs and oppressive administrations practice of the denial of basic humyn rights. For those who are unfamiliar with CSP-LAC, it needs to be pointed out that the prison is actually located on the outskirts of Los Angeles in what is referred to as the High Desert. Being as we are in the desert, temperatures are often either in the extreme heat or extreme cold, and even though it is only October, the temperature dropped somewhat dramatically. I'm not sure as to exactly what the temperature was, it was either in the upper 40s or lower 50s. It was definitely cool either way.

We were made to walk to a chow hall opposite the yard, and we were not given any jackets, so many prisoners decided to wear their personal thermals under their prison blues. Upon arriving to the dinning hall about four or five fellow prisoners were returned to our buildings by the yard pigs for the simple act of wearing a thermal in an attempt to try to stay warm. Upon arriving back to the building those same prisoners asked to speak with the sergeant in order to discuss this ridiculous regulation. The pigs on the scene refused to call the sergeant, so the prisoners decided to simply take a seat on the tables and wait for the pigs to call him.

As I arrived back to my building I saw those four or five brothers in captivity seated. I'd already heard what was going on so I approached them and took a seat with them as I was interested in speaking with the lead pig myself. As the rest of our brothers returned, many looked on in confusion. Some saw what was going and in a collective show of solidarity simply walked over and sat with us. By the time everybody returned, our numbers grew from six to about ten or eleven. Needless to say, this was a pathetic amount of people for a building that holds about 200. It is important however to point out that this was a completely spontaneous event and the majority of people were not aware of what was going on, so there is no blame.

However, after about 20 minutes, a couple of prisoners scared themselves into submission and decided that this wasn't worth going to the hole over. We explained that there was nothing to go to the hole over, we were simply asking to speak to the sergeant, and even if they did send us to the hole, then we were prepared to go. If that was the price of speaking up for ourselves and our basic humyn right of keeping warm, then so be it. Not 5 minutes later the pigs hit the alarm on us. We immediately took a seated position on the floor as the pig Sgt. Jameson trotted in, foaming at the bit, waving his little stick at us, while verbally insulting us and threatening to spray us with his OC if we didn't get down, but we were already down.

We were all cuffed and taken outside and lined up along the yard fence, made to face away from our oppressors. While we were cuffed some of the pigs suddenly found their courage and began to make their little smart ass remarks. Some of us began to speak up and merely explain our position and that all we wanted to do was have a conversation with the sergeant. At this time the piece of shit sergeant resumed with his posture of threats and verbal abuse. At this point we finally just said "fuck you and everything you stand for" to which his reply was to call for an exaggerated request for re-enforcements. All yards were ordered to shut down and have their pigs flood our yard. All this for a handful of prisoners who were already in restraints. About 10 minutes later the secondary response arrived, however there was not much for them to do except to supervise the locking up of the remaining prisoners on the yard who were in no way involved with us.

After about 20-30 minutes the yard was finally clear of prisoners except for those of us in restraints. All the while we were cuffed and on our knees facing a wall. As the secondary response team slowly evacuated the yard another alarm went off. It turns out that the prisoners in the gym witnessed what was going on with us and simultaneously decided to get off their bunks directly disobeying orders and refusing to lay back down. They decided to protest the fact that they were being made to lay down, and stay on their bunk all day long. They were also not being allowed to go to their work assignments. So the gym said "fuck it" and the secondary response team had to run in there and extract about 30 people. Thirty people is a small number compared to the capacity being held in the gym, but still better numbers than the so-called "high security" prisoners. All in all I counted about 42 people out there. Three people were chosen to be interviewed by ISU (Investigative Service Unit). They basically wanted to know what it was that brought all this about. They were told that all we wanted to do is to have a simple discussion with the facility sergeant as to why we weren't being allowed to wear our thermals. We did nothing wrong, nor did we disobey any order to lock it up. As a matter of fact, we were never told to take it into our cells; the prison pigs just hit the alarm.

We were then interviewed by the yard lieutenant and assistant warden. We repeated our line and also stated that as far as we knew their little rule about us not being allowed to wear our thermals was bogus since the Title 15 no longer stipulates whether we can or cannot. We were also not being allowed to look at the prison DOM (Departmental Operational Manual) and every pig we asked concerning the "no thermals in the chow hall" rule refused to confirm or deny whether the regulation is actually on the books or not, or whether this is all just part of the yard administration's power trip, which makes me think that since they've not confirmed or answered our questions, and only gave vague answers, then they're obviously hiding something.

Recognizing that we're being granted an audience with prison administrators some of us took the opportunity to bring up a variety of issues affecting the population. We told them we weren't being allowed to use the phone, go to yard, etc. Their response was that as far as the thermals were concerned we are in fact not allowed to wear them to the chow hall. However, they still did not confirm whether it is a mandated regulation or not. They then apologized for not issuing out jackets. They said that we're supposed to have been issued jackets weeks ago but there was some delay. The warden was currently making some calls trying to get us some jackets. By the end of the interview we were told that they'd found us some jackets and that they would be issued Monday. However, we were also told not to take this as them somehow giving in to our demands. Yeah right. We were told that concerning the program on the yard, we had ourselves to blame because of supposed safety risks that we are always causing. At the end of the interview they told us that we were all going to be punished for participating in a disturbance. We were then sent out back to our cells.

Hours later those jackets that were nowhere in sight or on the prison grounds were somehow "found" and distributed. Funny how that works.

Now today, for the first time in four months, a huge portion of the population was allowed access to the phones.

Who knows, maybe tomorrow we'll finally get some yard.

chain
[Gender] [Abuse] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
expand

Transgender Struggles in Segregation

I'm a 40 year old transgender prisoner activist. I've been held prisoner by the state of California for 20 years, including 10 years in Pelican Bay SHU and am currently confined to Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU), awaiting transfer to Tehachapi SHU for the past year.

I was initially placed in ASU for "refusing to double cell" and put in disciplinary segregation for objecting to random housing assignments with sexually violent predators because I am a transgender female on hormone therapy. I was placed in punitive, inhumane conditions, simply for exercising my constitutional right to personal safety.

Subsequently I was charged with "battery on a peace officer" for spitting on the lieutenant in ASU. Then I was physically assaulted by Correctional Officer Llamas, who falsified a report charging me with "battery on a peace officer" because I stuck my arm out of the food port on my cell door; he pepper-sprayed me and twisted my arm for demanding to see his supervisor.

I am an experienced jailhouse lawyer and am currently pursuing two federal civil rights lawsuits: 1) concerning medical neglect at Pleasant Valley State Prison, and 2) inhumane conditions and sex discrimination at RJDCF-ASU.

chain