- Stop Censorship of Non-Nude Publications and Photos - Repeal BP-3.91 (1/28/2022)
- End Indefinite Restrictive Housing in TDCJ (1/15/2022)
- Boycott Juneteenth: End Mass Incarceration and Solitary (1/15/2022)
- Shut Down the Control Units (1/07/2022)
- We Demand Our Grievances are Addressed in Texas (11/08/2021)
- What Are Prisons For? Should we send Rittenhouse and the McMichaels there?
- An Ongoing Discussion on Organizing Strategy Pt. 3
- Gov. Abbot Pledges to Eliminate Rapists while Porn is Forced on TX Prisoners
- Suboxone: Chemical Warfare on the Oppressed
We Can Choose the Next Phase of CDCR Prison Culture
On the subject of non-designated yards, the fact that the state’s actors have sanctioned this social experiment where the labels that the state themselves created are now being altered by their creators means that the G.P./SNY dual system has run its course and failed miserably.
It also means that prisoners have to be re-educated on the history of prison labels in California, understanding that at one time all prisoners went to any yard where there was space and they fit the classification points criteria. The only prisoners who got sent to special yards at that time were the wealthy, the law enforcement convicted prisoners, and those media vilified infamous. These yards held low numbers of prisoners and weren’t easy to get to, or gain reliable information about. However, once the state actors came up with 50/50 yards, SNY yard, it created new problems that would not only affect prisoner sub-culture in prison but an even huger problem on the streets due to the criminals’ new option not to play by the old rules of the GAME that is not a game.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all on the who’s who level, on the G.P. nor SNY lines – there are snitches on both sides, rapists on both sides, hustlers on both sides, politicians on both sides, killers on both sides, thinkers on both sides, lumpen orgs on both sides. What needs to be analyzed is why are we still judging one another based solely on convictions when we have seen 13, White Like Me, we’ve read The New Jim Crow, Blacked Out Through White Wash, The Black Panthers Speak, Locked Up But Not Locked Down, A Taste of Power, and Dark Alliance, etc.
WE know that all the courts care about is convictions and not truth or facts. We know that many people who go to trial get railroaded and made an example of. We know that many of us were forced to make deals based on the public defender’s inability to provide adequate defense and we know many prisoners are wrongfully convicted and sentenced to decades behind these walls. Yet we keep judging our fellow prisoners based upon convictions from a corrupt system that works to justify its high percentage of convictions and deals, plea bargains, bails, etc. As one of the GODS that’s locked inside of this INJUSTICE system I refuse to take our open enemy’s word about another oppressed prisoner, nor will I act on behalf of the STATE and harm another prisoner based on what happened as a result of the United Snakes Criminal Injustice system. Where I judge is based on the individual’s personal conduct and willingness to act when the time demands action or when I see them deal with difficult situations – if they’re rational, measured, and are they using reason-based decision making or not.
Comrades, we’ve got to think about what unity would bring us that is impossible if we continue being separated based upon STATE TITLE and LABELS. The question to all you self-styled revolutionaries is: can people change? Does experience and education reform an otherwise broken individual? Can we inspire the Blind, Deaf and Dumb to wake the fuck up and unite on some active social dynamics that is mutually beneficial to all commonly oppressed prisoners? Will we educate the next Revolutionary that will make change a reality? Or are we just pen and paper revolutionaries?
Brainwash a Younging
I was thugging trying to make no-thing into something
After seeing those who had it all while us who was out there struggling
Thinking that there has to be another way for all of us to get fair play
But these x-men made crooked scales so they can capitalize
As long as their bellies are overfulled it doesn’t matter if I get killed
Slaving for minimum wages so my family may have food and supplies
Then to have obstacles laid in front of me after I open my all seeing eye
That the only way is the natural way & that is to communize
No big you’s & no little I’s
But that has no money coming out of it
So that’s why the 10 has to lie
They don’t want to share the pie
So sad that they’re gone fry
To know yourself
I have all this knowledge, but it’s collecting dust on the shelf.
Man, I need some help,
But what’s the point when I have a teacher and I don’t value his wealth?
Am I conscience that I am in the belly of the beast?
Or did the imperialist induce me dumb and asleep?
Am I so far gone that I cannot be reached?
Is my third eye too calcified that I can not seek?
That New Afrikans can have better opportunities to increase?
And free all political prisoners plus the great sheiks?
Even if it cost me, my family to not deal with me when I am released?
These are the questions I ask myself to see if I’m still mentally deceased, and if I am; may the Allah in me drown me in the knowledge of self so I can be a valuable piece.
To aid & assist all my brothers and sisters in this beautiful struggle for New Afrikan peace.
North Carolina Labor Battle Advice
I hope these words surmount the many communicational barriers that have been put in place to suppress my voice. I'm currently being held at North Carolina's supermax facility. I came across issue 66 of ULK and I read where the prisoners of Pender razor-wire plantation are being exploited and seeking guidance and assistance in redressing this issue.(1)
North Carolina is home to 32 Correctional Enterprise plantations that exploit prisoners for their labor in the name of rehabilitation. As the komrade mentioned, these plantations are profitable enterprises that range from producing janitorial products to a metal plant in Polkton, North Carolina that makes industrial sinks for schools and contraband lockers for the police. Each of these 32 plantations produces goods to be sold to tax-supported entities such as municipal and county governments. So yes it's a fact that prisoners are being exploited and you seek guidance on how you and others can organize to redress this issue.
First and foremost, you must purge the fear you admitted to having, komrade. As the beloved komrade George Jackson stated, "Don't fear the specter of repression, for we are already repressed." The fear of reprisals is what keeps us in bondage. Yes we're held captive by concrete and razor-wire barriers, but it isn't the physical chains that keep us oppressed and exploited. It is the mental chains of ignorance and fear that impede us from liberating ourselves from under the rule of the enemy. Fear is our greatest hindrance. We have been conditioned to believe that the enemy's retaliation will be so brutal that any thoughts of standing up are neutralized by this fear. Nelson Mandela said it best: "In prison, no improvement happens without a reason."
However, you are correct that you must have assistance. You cannot fight this Hydra alone. North Carolina isn't known for its progressive political activity within these razor-wire plantations, nor are there any notable revolutionaries or political prisoners. Being the deputy minister of defense for the White Panther organization, which is an arm of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party - Prison Chapter, under the umbrella of the United Panther Movement, we have been on the front lines and working diligently to transform these slave pens of oppression into schools of liberation.
There are outside supporters here that are very loyal to the prisoners of North Carolina. They provide us with a local newsletter, FloodGates, to serve as a platform for us to network with others and express ourselves. They also organize outside protests and mass call-ins. As of now, we are focused on redressing the new JPay restrictions. You can receive the FloodGates newsletter by writing:
PO Box 15401
Durham, NC 27704
MIM(Prisons) responds: In ULK 66 we asked for input from other folks in response to the writer from North Carolina who asked what they can do to fight back against the extortion of money, both through their labor and petty fees. This writer offers some good thoughts about building a network both behind bars and on the streets. We work for Under Lock & Key to also serve as a resource to help with this organizing.
As we've discussed in our recent updated "Survey of U.S Prisoners on Prison Labor" in ULK 62, prisoners are mostly working for the state.(2) The examples given by this writer confirm that this is the case in North Carolina as well. This labor is subsidizing the state budget, but it falls far short of covering the cost of imprisonment. So we don't describe prison labor with the term "exploitation" which, in Marxism, means transforming labor power into goods to be sold for a profit. The goods being produced are for state institutions, and just offset the costs to run these institutions. There's no profit involved.
Instead, we say the prisons are extorting this labor. Basically the prisons are stealing it from prisoners, not giving them a choice about work, and paying only a pittance. Still, there's no profit.
Prisons are about social control and national oppression, not profits. The prison movement needs to focus on the anti-colonial battle, and the struggle against prison labor can be a part of this. We support the struggles many of our comrades are fighting against prison labor, because we are against extortion and imprisonment of the lumpen class and oppressed-nation peoples. This is one of many ways to weaken the criminal injustice system.
Black August Comemoration of Marcus Garvey Sr.
By Rassafidz of NCICO United Front & 5% N.G.E. Community Corcoron Copied by Narobi Antori
It has been a hot few months for the prisoners of Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF) California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitations. After struggling against administrative corruptions, to no avail, in local courts, over toxic prison conditions that involve prison populations. Being forced to eat in dining hall spaces that are infested with fungus/mold, in both serving and dining areas. Prisoners still suffer in the environment that over looks the presence of maggot containing prisoners food; However, a group of New Afrikans, who organize under the flag of Natural Islam, Nation of Gods & Earths, were able to come together to celebrate the birthdate of a principle party of the New Afrikan liberation movement.
On August 17, 2019 approximately ten members of the N.G.E. community, with guests, united in assembly to celebrate the life of Honorable Marcus M. Garvey Sr. Though there be so much hate & false hope being spread within the imprisoned New Afrikan community, & some of the most powerful platforms developed to liberate New Afrikans are being used by members of the amerikan society, who blood suck & exploite the un-tapped mind resources of New Afrikans, all power to those who struggle.
The men of CSATF, N.G.E., Carthage Community shared in a lecture dialogue covering the birth of Marcus Garvey, his organizing of the 11 million Afrikans of the black diaspora into the Universal Negro Improvement Association & Carribeans League, commonly referred to as the U.N.I.A. There was live musiq played by one of the Rasta G-O-Ds & discussions held on the subject of New Afrikan unity both inside and outside the prisons in the U.S.
As we all suffer from a sort of social un-justice that disconnects the New Afrikan man, woman, and child from any degree of social equality, the movement of prison liberalist reform has begun to drown out the voices of prisoner leadership who held a more un-popular position as it relates to Justice for more than 2 million plus prisoners in the custody of the amerikkkan prison system, not to mention all of those of facilities & mental health hospitals. The G-O-Ds of Corcoran decided that there was a need to develop a self-determined event that drew attention to the New Afrikans getting back to the basics of Nation building by the concept of:
One Love. One Nature. One Way.
There was open discussion on the need of more New Afrikan mentorship programs led by the strong Brothers & Sisters who have determined that the only change that should come to New Afrikans imprisoned is the change WE ourselves cultivate, with or without the help, approval or permission of the police & when WE say police, we mean the police in all it’s forms, including the high rolling church peoples who want nothing to do with US who have been marked with the triple brand of Satan.
There was a simple meal of chips and burritos offered to all who attended, the group went un-harassed by facility officers, who have become accustomed to nicknaming the 57 N.G.E. community as the “Earth Wind & Fire Group”.
One particular God made knowledge known on the need of New Afrikans & all asiatics to be wise in the high sodium levels hidden inside our food as a means to kill off our, “Third eye” capabilities, while another God from Detroit & organizing a member of the NOI opened a rap session performing a conscious rap song that he wrote in his early years in the 90’s.
With all the talk of Juneteenth & Black August within the California prison system, these New Afrikans did a great job of honoring the living life objectives of Black Liberation. Concentrating on Peace, Unity, Growth, Internatonalism & Independence, they used resources at their disposal for the right reason, & many beautiful plans came from the build of righteousness & destruction of evilness.
Though the Nation of God & Earth (N.G.E.) community, properly referred to as the, “N.G.E., Carthage of el’Moraco New Afrika”, has established much for itself with it’s weekly General Cipher of Saturdays from 9:30AM-11:45AM, & the N.G.E. civilization class held on Thursday 2:30PM-4:00PM where these New Afrikan Asiatic Study the Nature of Moabite Ancestry & Islam as the culture of mathematics with the guidance of “The Final Testament Quran,” Published by Rashad Khalifa & the Masjid Tuscon International Community of Submitters. Gods adopted plans to launch an Egyptian yoga group developing the principles of the Maat, introduced by Dr. Muata Ashby, while also supporting a facility gardening project that the youthful G-O-Ds figure that there be no better way to celebrate the lives of our murdered Freedom Fighters than to plant love, so G-O-Ds took part in de-weeding a particular patch of the yard for their own civilization.
In closing, we invite the N.G.E, N.O.I & Moorish communities of California & the west coast to reach out to our leadership as WE organize for the Kwanzaa celebration in December with all praises be to the Originals, Being the change we wish to see.
Notes on Advancing the Struggle Inside: Unity – Colorado Unity
First and foremost, we would like to thank ULK for being a platform to spread the message of prisoner united fronts and solidarity within these dungeons. ULK has been a big part of helping in reeducation and enlightenment. To us revolutionaries, who are the tip of the spear here in Colorado, ULK is a great tool. We hope this brief update gives encouragement to all of us conscious of our battle against capitalism, its social-control mechanism – mass incarceration – and use of prisons as modern day slave camps.
Here in Colorado, with hard work and much determination, many different groups have come to the realization of subversive tactics the state and badge engage in to divide and conquer. Exploiting gang rivalries, perpetuating violence by manufactured conflicts through "set-ups" of STG members, and at times, nation unrest. After years of watching the badge laugh it up, get pumped off the live action, replaying videos of their puppet mastery, enjoying their own pithy commentary for amusement, pursuing judicial redress (criminal convictions) for violence they made possible and encouraged, freely and gleefully using chemical warfare, tazers and non-lethal weaponry (for some reason these always seem to be headshots, although this is strictly against written policy!) — with the help of many different group leaders, violence between rivals, L.O.s has stopped, almost state-wide.
For us at the spear's tip, some critics recriminate and admonish – we've gone down in flames, being removed from population to areas sufficiently isolated; all our privileges (telephone, canteen, TV, visits, etc.) removed, subject to out-of-state transfer. The badge resort to textbook "cointelpro" tactics: spreading misinformation, rumors, delaying or stopping mail. Worker pigs, "porkers," trying to revitalize dessicated STG-conflicts to take the spotlight off of them. Any means necessary to escape the repercussions. But, out of the ashes has risen a mighty phoenix, one that has sent a cold chill down our oppressor's back.
We've demonstrated that real leadership is based in action, not handicapping our people, but rather in providing the knowledge, tools and freedoms to act. Setting examples of sacrifice, tenacity and hard work. Understanding that the struggle to change minds is hard even with the truth staring some in the face; some would rather desperately clutch at what's most familiar and be a stubborn hindrance to those of us conscious and progressing the movement. That is human nature, it will take patience. No matter how many obstacles, as long as you keep the big picture in your mind nothing else matters. Those of us answering the call must cherish that we will never know the comforts of the meek. It is a long, hard road, but we can be proud we are doing our part and did not look away. If we are not willing to risk the usual, we will have to settle for the ordinary. This would very much please capitalists and their contributors, were we to become subjugated.
Self-determination is our only path. Take up one cause (i.e. removing capitalism), make that one cause your life, think of it, dream of it, live on that cause, let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that cause, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. One or many defeats in battles do not constitute loss of the war; remember the big picture. Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. Of the latter there are two kinds who will tell you that you can not make a difference: 1) those who are afraid to try; and 2) those who fear you will succeed where they can not. (1)
We suggest, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong stumble, or where and how a doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marked by dust, sweat, blood; who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasms, the greater devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least, fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be among those cold, sententious, timid souls who have never known victory nor defeat.
To those who, like us revolutionaries here in Colorado, understand and struggle for a united prisoner movement: We tip our hats to you all. The fight is hard, and well worth the effort, sweat, blood, deprivations and temporary setbacks. Change is happening, change is coming.(2)
Gangster Mentality Can Transform to Revolutionary Communist
Is it possible to defeat gangster mentality in ourselves? The short answer is: Yes. There is plenty of solid individuals who have turned their back on the thug life and criminal thinking. But, is that what is needed when building a revolutionary cadre organization? Instead, perhaps we should attempt to harness and direct our vision of revolutionary social force into a hammer to first shatter the old imperialist system. And then from the ashes and rubble shape a new and better society that will serve the masses free of exploitation.
As members of the revolutionary cadre organization, each of us has to be a leader, a teacher, an activist, a soldier and represent the future by our conduct. Individual members must take the initiative to bring together various organizations for a united front. For this to happen our members have to think beyond their neighborhood, set or clique. All of us are already soldiers of battles that take place right under the nose of pigs. The system does not care if we kill each other. Actually they encourage warfare between lumpen organizations. When we fight each other we do their job for them.
Fight the imperialist system by making peace in prison and on the street. Educate the young, think on an international level, and lead by example. Evolve from a gangster into a hardcore communist revolutionary. Consider your time fighting for your neighborhoods as basic training for the real battle yet to come.
On Cyntoia Brown
Fifteen years ago she was in a desperate situation and in an unfortunate set of circumstances. From afar we have watched Comrade Brown show and prove to the world over that consistency, education, solidarity and a set of principles not unlike our own can literally tear down the walls of the oppressive state apparatus.
Most peoples and folks would overlook the struggle of a misled youth in favor of the more traditional political prisoner, but, when we saw that our comrade was free we had to inform the masses of eir struggle. #she2 is Legion.
To be Legion you must have been about that life at one point. To be Legion you must have become the change you wanted to see. You could be a Freed Cyntoia Brown or a captive ME.
She beat the patriarchal system that told her that she would do 51 years for killing a trick who tried to rape her while under capitalism. She was forced into prostitution by a pimp that coerced her into the underground commercial sex economy without any input from her.
While she sat in prison she didn’t waste time. She got her education, she got a degree, she advocated for her freedom turning her cell into her dormitory. She went from the state pen to Penn State.
We hope for the best for Comrade Brown as she begins her life on release. She too knows the struggle the pain of the road less traveled, and we humbly salute her with universal greetings of PEACE!
MIM(Prisons) adds: Cyntoia Brown is an inspiration as to what the oppressed nation lumpen youth can overcome and accomplish. Her case is one where gender, class and national oppression all came into play leading Cyntoia to the traumatic experiences of her early life. These experiences were a consequence of gender oppression on her as not only a biological female, but also a young persyn. The lack of development of youth make them more subject to gender oppression in patriarchal society. Such experiences will often mark and change a persyn’s life. And we celebrate those like Cyntoia who come out of those experiences as a strong, educated organizer for the interests of the oppressed.
Unfortunately, we know countless Cyntoia Browns as Legion implies. And they do not have celebrities working on their freedom campaign. Some of them will spend the rest of their lives in prison. This is the difference between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, that we live under now, which keeps the leaders of the oppressed locked up; as compared to the dictatorship of the proletariat, that we need, which will recognize those who take up the cause of the oppressed to be reformed contributors to society.
The risk is cases like Brown’s making it look like the U.$. injustice system also recognizes such contributors, as if Brown was released because the government recognized eir value to society, and not simply because of public pressure. Again, there are many Browns who are still languishing in prison because they didn’t get the public support, weren’t “newsy” enough, etc. And there will be many more if we don’t put an end to the patriarchal society that so often leads youth into dangerous situations.
We are grateful Comrade Brown is released and still fighting the good fight, and we have a lot more work to do.
Building Revolutionary Consciousness Against Reactionary Gangsterism
"We find ourselves today forced into a re-examination of the whole nature of black revolutionary consciousness and its relative standing within a class society steeped in a form of racism so sensitized that it extends itself even to the slightest variation in skin tone." - Comrade George (B.I.M.E.)
Almost 50 years after the assassinations of our comrades W. L., George, Khata-Ri, etc, etc. and the enemy has totally disseminated our party and reinforced their system to potentially negate our future revolutionary movements! What do we do now?
Our demand for narcotics to temporarily numb the pain of half life in capitalist U.$. is helping to fuel our distraction. Half of us sell dope and the other half use it!! Killing our unity and revolutionary potential! Now here we are, in capitalist U.$. torture chambers! Many of us are addicts, chasing a high right now! Some of us "claim a set" and from this identity cannot see being cool with the brotha of another "set." Some are lifers, who are weary of sacrificing themselves for the reactionaries to benefit! Some have already fallen too far (i.e. KKKop collaborators), and in turn, work covertly to undermine our movement! Others are poltroons, and out of their fear(s), they knowingly sabotage our progression as a U.$. disfavored minority. Many of us are "armchair revolutionaries" in that our practice(s) never match our stated militant goals. Others see control of the "underground economy" as being revolutionary. I do not have the answers. I am simply a New Afrikan man seeking community input as I continue to stride firmly. My questions are:1. How is the "revolutionary consciousness" developed in a time of reactionary gangsterism?
2. At what point does this so called "revolutionary theorist" have to put his theories into practice?
3. How can we ever trust a cat who has ever worked as an informant or jail house rat? By his very obvious individualism he has demonstrated his priority is ideal of "me first." Which, to us, says that once the pressure(s) of isolation, pig abuse(s), additional time, etc. comes into play, he will tell again. Setting us back even further!
MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade and eir questions posed was one of the inspirations for the topic of this issue of ULK. And we hope we have at least begun to provide some answers and guidance for those of us struggling with these questions.
This comrade also mentions a serious side-effect of the current gangster era, which is propped up by the drug economy. This reality serves as a material incentive in the form of profits for the seller and in the form of chemical triggers in the brain of the buyer. We addressed this situation in more depth in ULK 59 where we recognized the challenges in even questioning the drug economy in today's prison environment. It will require progress on other fronts to make a dent on the struggle against the poisoning of oppressed communities.
So what is to be done today?
Build a Revolutionary Culture on the Streets
USW30: Recently I heard of my older brotha/comrade's passing and it has me wondering... how do the brothas/sistas, who've embraced revolutionary consciousness inside, transition to outside struggles? Taking into consideration that the lumpen are in a state of defeatism and quite fratricidal!
I personally exited Federal Bureau Of Prisons after 17 calendars. I jumped right into local progressive politics and organizational volunteer work, serving the lumpen! Yet, seemingly at every outing one was forced to repel some form of gang reactionary threat(s). Most of which, stern chastisements sufficed. However, all B.S. aside, I guess what I'm saying is, without a "progressive culture" in play within the "hood" We are at risk of A) being victimized by our misguided lumpen, conditioned by capitalism to fratricidal violence, B) or we ourselves react to reactionary threats and in turn reinforce the lumpen's perceptions of us, "prison revolutionaries" that return to "gangster" conduct once out.
In truth, the only communities I saw which had requisite support systems; minimal threat of intra-national violence, and universal code of community morality were Islamic. I continually read pieces in ULK, where cats profess to be "materialist dialecticians" and as such, against "spirituality." What I suggest to those living in New Afrikan areas in particular is to analyze the impact of Islam on it. Contrast that with that of the so-called revolutionaries. We must figure out more effective ways to bring unity, as we methodically strive to bring Babylon down. Rather than spit unproductive rhetoric which services interests of the pigs by dividing militants from one another.
Those who are truly analyzing the body of facts (i.e. U.$. history) would have to acknowledge that those of Afrikan ancestry have always held spiritual connections and/or beliefs in a higher power/creator. Upwards of 40% of enslaved Afrikans were Muslim. Leading many slave captors to recommend traffickers firstly "break" them (i.e. torture Islam out of them) prior to bringing these known rebels to the United $tates and England. My point being those who truly work to build revolutionary culture must work with Muslims and in turn find common ground to then gain traction in revolutionary culture building.
Materialists must dialectically look at U.$. history and correspond tactics to today's realities confronting historically oppressed peoples! Teach Christians examples of Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, etc. Teach Muslims about El Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), etc. That even though we may come from varying socio-cultural backgrounds, we have the very same oppressors and system. That the Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Communists, etc. who live within U.$. borders all share the same injustices, inequalities, and pig brutalities on a daily basis. As such, we must cast side the divisive rhetoric and build class unity or die. As a Muslim of New Afrika, I am obligated to fight all oppressors. Personally, I could care less if the askari at my side believes or not. Long as he/she is committed to struggle...to death or death row. Does it matter if I must make Salah, before we run towards our oppressors? Well, that's my take and regardless, I will continue fighting, organizing, and striving! Peace.
MIM(Prisons) responds:We agree with this author’s point that we should be working with the left wing of the Muslim movement, and other religions. We addressed this question in depth in ULK 48. As communists we embrace materialism and encourage scientific thinking about the world. But this does not prevent us from uniting with all who can be rallied against imperialism. And the rabid anti-Muslim sentiments coming from the Amerikan imperialists creates fertile breeding ground for anti-imperialism.
Although we cannot find evidence of such a high percentage of Muslims among enslaved Africans. At the time that slaves were captured from Africa indigenous religions were the most common practice. But traffickers (and slave owners) attempted to break slaves of all their practices that tied them to their homeland, regardless of what religion or other cultural norms.
While we often talk about the imprisoned lumpen as being one of the most revolutionary populations in the United $tates, it is also in a backwards state of affairs. Meanwhile, the last time we saw a strong revolutionary consciousness penetrate the prison population was when there were strong vanguard organizations in the oppressed nations on the streets. We must recognize that part of building a strong revolutionary movement in prisons is building an even stronger one on the outside.
United Struggle from Within serves as a conduit for connecting the two, via prisoners who are released. MIM(Prisons)'s Re-Lease on Life Program attempts to provide support to those who are struggling with these challenges after release. But we have a lot of work to do to build strong revolutionary communities for comrades around the United $tates.
Revolutionary Theorists or Revolutionaries
USW30: Within the context of criticism-self-criticism, I am wondering when we as revolutionary theorists on the inside, shall righteously analyze the definition(s) of "revolution"/"revolutionary"? And in turn, be honest with ourselves (within the New Afrikan community) about if we are truly on that path that Col J (RIP), W.L. (RIP) etc. strode. I am questioning myself as well?! As the Kentucky comrade pointed out on p. 8 of ULK 65.(1)
Many of us claim to be revolutionaries, but have yet to truly embrace the reality of revolution! Or, shed the ethos of Gangsta. We create plethora of revolutionary documents in prisons, only to return to society and criminality. Recently a young New Afrikan referred to a fellow rad as "homeless dopefiend!" This made me think back.
The economy of capitalism murders millions daily. We have seemingly been co-opted by enemy cultural tenants! We have comrades embracing drug dealing as acceptable conduct! Poisoning our communities, profiting off of the destruction of our underklass citizenry! Then, returning to prison in turn advocating for addicted rads to be cast aside! We have rads claiming revolutionary authenticity, that have yet to stand against the real enemy, yet take pride in shopping blood of their own! The contradictions are glaring and I believe these are just a few of the things which have a real progressive and revolutionary movement stagnating!
Perhaps a retracing of steps is needed? As in... acknowledgement of enemy's defeat of the revolutionary movement in the 60s! That the "Black Power" of the 70s was a reformist attempt(s) to somehow safeguard some aspect of sociocultural pride, while rejecting the dominant amerikkkan kapitalist culture! Which in turn, led to the 80s crack epidemic and subsequent abandonment of all things revolution. For a "piece of the pie!"
These cats coming into prison today... fratricidal, apolitical, and addicted! Are the effects of our failures as leaders, in our communities! How can he claim Col J (RIP), when our day to day conduct is a reactionary affirmation of "Superfly" and "the Mack?" These youth see the hypocrisies, and this is why we cannot gain their support! To speak about revolution and yet not live a revolutionary example is unacceptable! And fraudulent in the 1st degree! I am no longer going to refer to myself as a revolutionary until I engage in revolution! Nor will I reference Col J(RIP) as my "comrade," until I follow his examples!
I thank the Kentucky comrade for eir critiques in the last two paragraphs, as they struck home for me! We must reform the "gangstas" within our movement... or destroy them! As their overt materialistic individualisms will destroy us... or, turn the progressives back into elements of reaction!
MIM(Prisons) responds: There is a bit of an existential crisis for the revolutionary in non-revolutionary times. We don't take on the term "revolutionary" as if we were superheroes, but merely to describe our political goals and ideology. But, it does bring us back to question 2 above. And we'd say that a revolutionary must always be putting eir theories into practice. And that includes not waging revolutionary war in a non-revolutionary situation. That is a basic principle of the guerilla.
As USW30 says, the youth can detect the phony revolutionaries who just talk the rhetoric while acting out the negative aspects of the gangster role. We can act as revolutionaries, as individuals, in our day-to-day behavior in interacting with, serving, and standing up for the people.
There's a reason we get letters regularly mentioning the comrades who died in the struggle 50 years ago. Their legacy lives on because they stood up as examples. And even if our names don't become legendary, we will inspire the youth and the masses around us through our correct actions.