Under Lock & Key Issue 11 - November 2009

Under Lock & Key

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[Culture] [ULK Issue 11]
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Thangs-taken

You got a green card?

Back in September, American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier, who's been in prison since 1977, wrote an article responding to his denial for parole entitled, "I am Barak Obama's Political Prisoner now." In it he wrote, "If only the federal government would have respected its own laws, not to mention the treaties that are, under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, I would never have been convicted nor forced to spend more than half my life in captivity."(1)

In October, in Denver, the birthplace of Kkkolombus Day, activists lead an annual protest of the patriotic parade, which "commemorate(s) the beginnings of America itself." Of this year, they report: "We chanted "Down With Kolumbus Day, Settlers (and Occupiers) Go Away!" To liven up the anti-colonial festivities we brought a piñata of Uncle Sam. Protesters had whacks at it with a shoe, in honor of Al-Zaidi in Iraq."(2)

As we work to get this issue of Under Lock & Key off to you all in November, amerikans are warming up their kitchens for a cozy Thanksgiving ("Thangs taken" is more accurate) dinner on land stolen from the First Nations, made up of food picked and packaged by exploited Latino migrants, served on dinner plates made by exploited Asians, paid for by stolen wealth from natural resources in the Middle East, while millions of children in Africa starve.


notes:
(1) http://www.counterpunch.org/peltier09112009.html
(2) RAIM Global Digest Issue 6. November 15th, 2009.

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[Spanish] [National Oppression] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 11]
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Detenciones de Migrantes como Opresión Nacional

[img="https://www.prisoncensorship.info/art/quick/assistformigrantsespanol.jpg" alt=]

Como la populación de prisioneros en crecimiento más rápido, migrantes en detenciones han servido para sequir aumentando los niveles de encarcelamiento en los Estados Unidos desde 2001, iqualmente en las últimas decadas, salvando así a la industria de prisiones privadas en el proceso.(1) Apesar de la continuada retorica sobre las drogas cruzando a los Estados Unidos por México, el gobierno drásticamente quitó recursos del enforzamiento de drogas y aumentó recursos al enforzamiento de inmigración después del 9/11, y la populación de prisioneros muestra ese cambio.(2)

En el Julio 2009, había 31,000 personas no ciudadanas encerradas al nivel federal en en los Estados Unidos. Este número está más grande que en el 2006, cuando habían más o menos 20,000, y el año 1992 cuando habían 6,259.(3) Hay más de 320,000 migrantes detenidos por Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) cada año, y hasta un cuarto de ellos son jóvenes. Estos números solamente incluyen las personas encarceladas bajo la custodia federal, aunque puedan estar ubicadas por todo el país y en prisiones estatales y cárceles locales. Estos números no incluyen personas quienes están encarceladas por cargos criminales, pero no están entregados a la custodia federal por infracciónes de inmigración (tales como en las "ciudades santuarias").

La Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles (American Civil Liberties Union) dice que las condiciones en cuales esos detenidos civiles están mantenidos son frecuentemente tan malas o aun peores que las condiciones que experimentan la gente en la prisión por convicciones criminales. Estos centros de detención han sido descritos como "lamentablamente irregulados." Los "requisitos" que ellos tienen sobre como tratar la gente no llevan obligaciones legales, reduciendolos esencialmente a sugerencias.(3) Esto significa que a los prisioneros sin ciuidadania estadounidense se los niega acceso a teléfonos, ayuda legal o liberías legales, recreación, visitación, correo, cuidado médico, papel del baño y la lista sigue. Las personas son secuestradas de sus casas a media noche y mudado sin ninguna notificación a sus familias. Además de eso frecuentemente ellos no tienen ninguna manera de comunicación, dejando la gente completamente separada de su sistema de apoyo y consejería legal. Para los prisioneros estadounidenses, esas condiciones no son sorprendentes ni nuevas. La diferencia para los migrantes es que la línea entre la detención y el castigo está borrosa. Hace años, los migrantes eran detenidos por 4 o 5 días, y después deportados. Ahora la gente está detenida por hasta 2 años (y posiblamente más), sin haber sido acusado de un crímen, aun menos declarada culpable, ni por un jurado ilegítimo, ni en un tribunal ilegítimo de los Estados Unidos.

Los Motivaciones Economicas

Una razón que los niveles del encarcelamiento de los migrantes está aumentando es porque después de la construcción rápida de prisiones en los 1990s, algunas prisiones ahora están parcialmente vacías. Los dueños y los financieros de esas prisiones están implorando que llegué más gente que encerrar, y su solución es los migrantes. Esto es parte de la economía imperialista parasítica; llenarias prisiones se lo considera como un estímulo económico aunque sea un gasto de recursos sin resultado productivo.

Prisiones privadas contienen 17% de la gente bajo la custodia de la agencia ICE. La Corporación Correccional de América, una compañía que maneja prisiones privadas y que tiene control de la mitad de las instituciones de detención manejadas por compañías privadas, gastó $3 milliones de dólares cabildeando los políticos en el 2004. Ellos quieren leyes de inmigración más estritas para que tengan acceso a más prisioneros, lo cual las brindará a ellos más dinero. Al mismo tiempo, ICE puede pagar 26% menos por día para mantener los prisioneros en una institución privada contra una que está administrada por el estado.(4) Esto es posible porque en las instituciones privadas hace falta la observación del público igual que la del gobierno, y ellos reducen los gastos porque eliminan todo que ayudaría a los prisioneros, incluyendo cuidado médico para que es necesario vivir.. Una razón por la cual los gobiernos estatales han evitado usar las prisiones privadas para sus ciudadanos fue el escándalo a que estuvieron rapidamente vinculadas. En el año 1998-99 las prisiones privadas de Wackenhut en Nuevo Mexico tuvieron una proporción de mortalidad 55 veces más alta que la mortalidad nacional en las prisiones.(5) Cuando esas corporaciones son contratados por la agencia ICE, la falta de voz en la populación migrante permite que sigan sin castigo las condiciones abusivas para ahorrar dinero. Esto es otro buen ejemplo de como el capitalismo valora ganacias más que la vida humana.

Aún, como lo describimos en "Amerikkkanos: Opremiendo por Subsistencia," un incremento en los niveles del encarcelamiento no sirve sólo los intereses de la industria de las prisiones privadas; las uniones de los trabajadores en la prisión y los cerdos tambien reciben beneficios grandes. Desde el 9/11/2001 los Estados Unidos ha incrementado sus oficiales de aduanda de 8,000 a 20,000 agentes, 20% quienes son veteranos militares. Los salarios que empiezan a $36,000 hasta $46,000 por año más beneficios completos. Todo el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (Department of Homeland Security - DHS) el cual incluye al ICE, se jacta aue su presupuesto es más que $40 billiones y que proveen trabajos de salarios altos a 166,234 norte amerikanos.(6) El DHS no solamente mantiene la riqueza dentro del bordo de los Estados Unidos, ayudan a distribuirla también.

Y asi mismo al complejo industrial militar y complejo industrial de prisiones que nosotros discutimos en "La Privatisación de la Guerra: Imperialismo Boquea sus Ultimos Respiras," los contratos con el departamendo de suguridad nacional son basado en a quien tu conoces, no en lo que estas vendiendo, como los empleados del gobierno antiguos venden sus mercancías a sus patrónes antiguas.(7) Al mismo tiempo, bastantes dirijidas por sobre entuciasticos y abiertamenta racistas como el "Minuteman."(8)

Por supuesta, existen verdaderos beneficios económicos para los norte amerikanos sobre todo al manejar la populación tratando de venir a los Estados Unidos. Si los norte amerikanos verdaderamente hacen más dinero porque ellos son más inteligentes y más trabajadores, entonces no estarían asustados a abrir las fronteras y permitir la competencia por los trabajos. En cambio, la petición por represión está forsando más y más agricultores a emplear la labor de prisioneros para las cosechas cuando usualmente ellos usaban los migrantes. Libres ciudadanos amerikanos no más no trabajan por salarios proletario, sin mencionar que esto siendo ilegal, entonces el argumento que ellos quieren recoger sus trabajos es muy debil. Aunque quisas esta es la solución perfecta para mantener la comida barata, mientras que mantienen a los extrajeros fuera y los oprimidas en prision. Migrantes detenidos trabajan en prisiones privadas haciendo el mantenimiento diario, y porque ellos no son ciudadanos estadounidenses el DHS impone un maximo salario de $1 al día.(9) Mientras que comida y provisión de viviendo suficientes son proveidas teoricamente, estos condiciones de vida y trabajo son peores de las de sus propias regiones. Opuesto al reaccionario vuelta de control de fronteras, nosotros retamos ellos quienes quieren trabajos para todos a trabajar hacia un nueva sistema económico en cambio.

Cierre las Puertas: La Unidad de los Blancos

ICE ni el unico actor de enforsamiento de ley en este robo de ganacias sobre la vida humana. Bajo el Acto del Inmigración y el Nacionalidad 287(g), autoridades locales pueden ser autorizada a oficialmente imponer leyes federales de inmigración, mientras que otros están confortables inoficialmente usando el viejo táctica de oprimir grupos especificos de gente. Esta cultura de opresión en la nación blanca corre tan profundo que más y más ciudadanos estadounidenses están uniendose en el tradicional pasatiempo amerikkkano de vijilar el bordo, de voluntarios con tales grupos como el "Hombres Minuto de Defensa Civil de Cuerpo." En respuesta a mucho indignidad público, el presidente Obama ha hablado de las acciones del famoso humillador de los migrantes el Alguacil Arapio de Condado Maricopa al limitario a solamente determinar el estatus emigratorio de alguien cuando un sido encarcelado. Esta debil respuesta de la administración de Obama enseña sus soportes a tales opresiones de migrantes.

La nación blanca Euro-Amerikana ha estado sistematicamente oprimiendo otras gentes por centenios. Una manera es por medio de la explotación y el neo-colonialismo en países del Tercer Mundo, donde la gente está atrapada como labor barata por bordas y leyes de inmigración. Corporaciones pagan poquito o no salarios allá y venden los productos por super-ganancias en los Estados Unidos. La situación dificil económica causa a la gente que abandonen sus hogares y frecuentemente arriesguen sus vidas por tratar de proveer para ellos y sus familias. Desde el 1995 hasta el 2005 como 2,600 personas han muerto tratando de entrar dentro de los Estados Unidos por México.(10) Asi mismo, gente regularmente muere cruzando el oceano en botes hechos a mano de Haiti donde los gobierno impuesto por los Estados Unidos rehusa proveer las necesidades de la gente. Es opresivo en una país entonces la gente decide marcharse y venir aquí pensando que encontrarán mejores oportunidades. Claro que si, lo que verdaderamente pasa es la opresión y explotación de gente del Tercer Mundo continua dentro de los Estados Unidos cuando la gente no tiene una tarjeta verde. Los condiciones están peores para los oprimidos durante la reciente crisis economic. Muchas de America Latina están descubriendo que las oportunidades están ahora mejor en sus países, sin embargo, los norte amerikanos continuan viviendo su estilo de vida sobre consumidor en los Estados Unidos.

Señas de Progreso

En medio de todo esto, existen gente trabajando hacia soluciónes. En Pecos, Texas en Diciembre del 2008 y Enero del 2009, habo una serie de lavantameintos de migrantes prisioneros. Fueron finalmente prendidos por la muerte de un hombre con epilepcia, quien murio completamente sin necesidad por el hecho de un descarado descuido por su vida al denegación cuidado médico.(11) Gente de diferente nacionalidades se juntaron en la rebelion, demandando mejores condiciones. Esta no es la primera ni la última muerto de esta forma, pues las muertes inexplicadas son común en prisiones estadounidense, incluyendo centros de detenciones de migrantes.

Algunas ciudades estadounidendes están moviendase en la dirección progresiva de ser "santuarios." Ciudades santuarias permiten a la gente quienes quisas no son ciudadanos estadounidense a hacer dinero y lo manden a sus hogares a circular en sus naciones. Esto es una forma redonda de movernos hacia un mundo sin fronteras. Sin embargo, con acusaciones que algunos alcaldes están siendo "suave con el crimen," el estatus de santario quisas se encuentre amenasado. Adicionalmente, no hay nada parando los agentes federales de ir dentro de esas ciudades e imponer leyes federales de inmigración, como frecuentemente lo hacen.

Mientras que nosotros favorecemos esos pasos progresivos hacia protecciones para los migrantes en los Estados Unidos, reconocemos que no son suficiente para llevar al final de la opresión nacional. Esas son reformas fragíles en lo mejor, que pueden ser facilmente revocados (o simplemente no los hacer caso). Otra solución que algunos tienen es la integración de migrantes dentro la nación explotadora de los Estados Unidos por medio de salarios de ramaño explotadar. Esto es un esfuerzo para reducir sus potenciales como revolutionarios a esos de consumidores y parasitos de labor aristocracia. Lo que verdaderamente necesitamos para terminar la opresión nacional de migrantes en los Estados Unidos es exponer "el sueño amerikkkano," y revolucionar los trabajores para soportar los movimientos revolucionarios en el Tercer Mundo.

notas:
(1) Greene, Judith. Banking on the Prison Boom. August 2006.
(2) Fernandes, Deepa. Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration. Seven Stories Press, New York. 2007, p.119.
(3) “Detention Management,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Nov 20, 2008, http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/factsheets/detention_mgmt.htm
(4) Berestein, Leslie. Tougher immigration laws turn the ailing private prison sector into a revenue maker. San Diego Tribune, 5/4/2008.
(5) Fernandes. p. 195.
(6) http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/rewrite/budget/fy2009/homeland.html
(7) Fernandes, p.178.
(8) Ibid., p.185. Border Technologies, Inc. founder believes that “Mexican culture is based on deceit” and “Chicanos and Mexicanos lie as a means of survival.”
(9) Ibid., p.197.
(10) Ibid., p.50.
(11) Wilder, Forrest. How a private prison pushed immigrant inmates to the brink. The Texas Observer, October 2, 2009. [url=http://www.texasobserver.org/features/the-pecos-insurrection

]http://www.texasobserver.org/features/the-pecos-insurrection

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[Civil Liberties] [International Connections] [Control Units] [ULK Issue 11]
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Third World Muslim Prisoners of Amerika

Shortly after MIM(Prisons) posted an article talking about the use of excess prisons to lock up migrants, CNN reported that the u.$. government is looking to take over another empty state prison, this time for Muslims from the Third World.(1) The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) already secretly opened two control units for Muslim Arabs in recent years at USP Terra Haute and USP Marion (which became the original control unit in 1983, but was later downgraded to medium security). These units hold 94% and 75% Muslims, respectively, are even more isolating than many prisons holding English-speakers and u.$. citizens.(2)

Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois is an unused, high tech, maximum security prison with a capacity of 1600 that still sits virtually empty. The government promises that if Third World Muslims are to be sent there, that it will be made even more secure than the official federal control unit, ADX in Florence, Colorado. According to the CNN article, Thomson is the top contender to take most of those now held in Guantanamo Bay after its planned closure, scheduled for January 2010.

There are only 215 prisoners at Guantanamo, and the BOP already holds 340 people that they say are "linked to international terrorism."(1) While the imprisonment of Latino migrants dwarfs these numbers, one must also consider that there are many u.$. prisons in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan and other secret military locations that hold primarily Muslims from the Middle East.

Governor Quinn is excited at the prospect of bringing these prisoners to Illinois because of the money it will bring to the region. This is consistent with his policies of using prisons to combat recession (3), and he may be on to something. With more and more amerikans being employed to physically oppress other people, importing people who are a threat to the imperialist order to hold in amerikan-run prisons would not be an unlikely form for amerika to take as it turns more fascist in the face of imperialist crisis. As one resident pointed out to Reuters, the local population in rural Illinois would back the mission of the prison (4), unlike people in the Middle East where the u$ currently holds most of its Middle Eastern prisoners. A turn toward fascism would be necessary to prevent non-citizens from gaining access to the bourgeois democratic rights promised to those on u.$. soil. (Those currently held in Guantanamo have never been convicted of a crime.) When convenient for them, the imperialists believe humyn rights begin and end at man-made borders.

Of course bourgeois rights are denied to citizens of the united snakes as well, as the FBI demonstrated by assassinating New Afrikan Imam, Luqman Ameen Abdullah in Detroit. Abdullah was a member of Jamil al-Amin's (formerly Black Panther H. Rap Brown) Muslim network called "Ummah." New Afrikan Muslims are the second largest group in the Marion Communications Management Unit.(2)

notes:
(1) Yellin, Jessica. Illinois prison top contender to house Gitmo detainees, official says. cnn.com. November 14, 2009.
(2) http://www.abolishcontrolunits.org/research/US
Exposing "Little Guantanamo": Inside the CMU by Daniel McGowen reports that 75% in Marion CMU are Muslim, though only 10 of 26 are from the Middle East. In Terra Haute, reportedly 2 of 213 prisoners are not Arab Muslims.
(3) MIM(Prisons) on U.S. Prison Economy. Under Lock & Key Issue 8, May 2009.
(4)http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN16528063

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[National Oppression] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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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.

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

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[Environmentalism] [Rhymes/Poetry] [Idaho] [ULK Issue 11]
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It's Here

How much land can be used to create wind farms that produce electricity in an environmentally safe manner providing whole communities with no-cost energy? The same goes for sun farms and even oceanic wave farms. How hard is it to switch to renewable fuel that has zero emission fumes and doesn't require war and invasive surgery on the earth using tools of poor humans dying in the process? Why isn't there a free worldwide health care or poverty prevention plan but there is a multi-billion dollar industry for grown men and womyn's games, music and entertainment? Is a 3-year-old starving less important than a touchdown? Would you rather stare into the eyes of young man happy to cure his cancer or steroid using actors? It's here, the means to alleviate the suffering of the womyn giving birth to a child in half baked sewage water that came out of the local Nike sweat shop's exhaust. It's here, a way that all the inhabitants of mother earth can co-exist with each other and their surroundings instead of being a disease to our planet and each other. It's here, the imperialist capitalist doing his absolute best to lull you into non-action with his constant misdirection from the harsh cold truth. Next time you cheer for your team or nod your head to the radio remember reality is a lot harder to deal with when you're not hypnotized by complacency.

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[National Oppression] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 11]
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National Oppression as Migrant Detention

Government Assistance for Migrants

As the fastest growing prison population, migrants in detention have helped continue the decades long trend of rising imprisonment rates in the united snakes in recent years, while saving the private prison industry in the process.(1) Despite continued rhetoric about drugs coming into the u.$. through Mexico, the government drastically shifted resources away from drug enforcement to immigration enforcement following 9/11, and the prison population shows it.(2)

As of July 2009, there are 31,000 non-citizens imprisoned at the federal level on any given day in the u.$. This number is up from about 20,000 in 2006 and 6,259 in 1992.(3) There are more than 320,000 migrants detained each year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and as many as a quarter of them are juveniles. These numbers include only those imprisoned under federal custody, although they may be located all around the country and in state prisons and local jails. These numbers do not include people who may be imprisoned on criminal charges, but are not turned in to federal custody on immigration violations (such as in "sanctuary cities").

The American Civil Liberties Union says that the conditions in which these civil detainees are held are often as bad as or worse than those faced by people imprisoned with criminal convictions. These detention centers are described as "woefully unregulated." The "requirements" that they do have about how to treat people have no legal obligation, reducing them essentially to suggestions.(3) This leads to prisoners without u.$. citizenship being denied access to telephones, legal aide or law libraries, recreation, visitation, mail, medical care, toiletries, and the list goes on. People are kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night and transferred without notification to their families. On top of that they often have no means of communication, leading people to become completely detached from their support systems and legal counsel. For u.$. prisoners, these conditions are nothing surprising or new. The difference for migrants is that the line between detention and punishment is blurred. Years ago, migrants were detained for 4 or 5 days, and then deported. Now people are being detained for up to 2 years (and possibly more), without ever being charged with a crime, let alone convicted, even by an illegitimate jury in an illegitimate u.$. court.

The Economic Motivations

One reason migrant imprisonment is increasing is because after the prison boom of the 1990s, some prisons are sitting partially empty. The owners and financers of these prisons are begging for more people to lock up, and their solution is migrants. This is part of the parasitic imperialist economy, where filling prisons is seen as an economic stimulus even though it is a completely non-productive suck of resources.

Private prisons house 17% of people in ICE custody. The Correctional Corporation of America, a private prison management company who controls half of the detention facilities run by private companies, spent $3 million lobbying politicians in 2004. They want stricter immigration laws so they can have access to more prisoners, which will bring them more money. In turn, ICE is able to pay 26% less per day to house prisoners in a private versus state-run facility.(4) This is possible because of the lack of public as well as governmental oversight at private facilities, where they reduce costs by getting rid of everything that would help prisoners, including necessary-to-life medical care. One reason state governments shied away from private prisons for their own citizens was the scandals that they quickly became associated with. In the year 1998-99, Wackenhut's private prisons in New Mexico had a death rate 55 times that of the national average for prisons.(5) The migrant population's lack of voice allows these corporations to get away with their cost-cutting abusive conditions when contracted by ICE. This is another good example of how capitalism values profit over humyn life.

Yet, as we described in Amerikkkans: Oppressing for a Living, an increase in imprisonment doesn't serve the interests of just the private prison industry; CO and pig unions also reap major benefits. Since 9/11/2001 the u.$. has increased its border patrol from 8,000 agents to 20,000, 20% of whom are military veterans. Salaries start at $36,000 to $46,000 per year plus full benefits. The whole Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes ICE, brags about its budget exceeding $40 billion and providing high paying jobs for 166,234 amerikans.(6) Not only does DHS keep wealth within u.$. borders, it helps distribute it as well.

And similar to the military-industrial complex and prison-industrial complex we discussed in The privatization of war: Imperialism gasps its last breaths, Homeland Security contracts are based on who you know, not what you're selling, as former staff members sell their wares to their old employers.(7) Meanwhile, many of the smaller start-up companies that are cashing in are headed by overly-enthusiastic and openly racist Minuteman types.(8)

Of course, there are real economic benefits to amerikans as a whole by managing the populations trying to come into the u.$. If amerikans really made more money because they are just smarter and harder working, then they wouldn't be afraid to open the borders and allow competition for jobs. Instead, the demand for repression is forcing more and more farmers to employ prison labor for harvests when they used to use migrants. Free amerikan citizens just won't work for proletarian wages, not to mention it being illegal, so the argument that they want their jobs back is pretty weak. Though perhaps this is the perfect solution to keeping food cheap, while keeping foreigners out and the oppressed in prison. Migrant detainees do work in private prisons doing the day-to-day maintenance, and because they are not u.$. citizens DHS enforces a maximum wage of $1 per day.(9) While adequate food and housing are theoretically provided, this amounts to working and living conditions generally below those in their home region. Opposite the reactionary turn to border control, we challenge those who want jobs for everyone to work toward a new economic system instead.

Close the Hatches: Whitey Unites

ICE is not the only law enforcement actor in this scam profiting off humyn life. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act 287(g), local authorities can become authorized to officially enforce federal immigration law, while others are comfortable unofficially using the old vigilante trick of targeting specific people. This culture of oppression in the white nation runs so deep that an increasing number of u.$. citizens are joining in the traditional amerikan hobby of border patrol, volunteering with groups such as the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. In response to much public outrage, President Obama has addressed the actions of the famous migrant humiliator Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio by limiting him to only determining someone's immigration status when they've been jailed. This weak response of the Obama administration shows their support of such migrant oppression.

The white euro-amerikan nation has been systematically oppressing other peoples for centuries. One way is through exploitation and neocolonialism in Third World countries, where people are trapped as cheap labor by borders and immigration laws. Corporations pay little to no wages there and sell products for super-profits in this country. The dire economic situations cause people to leave their homes and often risk their lives to provide for themselves and their families. From 1995 to 2005 about 2,600 people died trying to come into the united $tates through Mexico.(10) Similarly, people regularly die crossing the ocean in makeshift boats from Haiti where the u.$.-imposed government refuses to meet the needs of the people. It's oppressive in one country so people decide to leave and come here thinking they will find better opportunities. Of course, what really happens is the oppression and exploitation of Third World people continues within the united $tates when people don't have a green card. Things are worse for the oppressed during the recent economic crisis. Many from Latin America are finding that opportunities are now superior back home, even though amerikans continue to live over-consumptive lifestyles in the united $tates.

Migrants Seize Detention Center

Signs of Progress

In the face of all this, there are people working toward solutions. In Pecos, Texas in December 2008 and January 2009, there was a series of migrant prisoner uprisings. They were finally set off by the death of a man with epilepsy, who died completely unnecessarily due to a blatant disregard for his life by refusing to give him medical care.(11) People of many different nationalities came together in rebellion, demanding better conditions. This is not the first or last murder of its kind, as unexplained deaths are common in u.$. prisons, including migrant detention centers.

Some u.$. cities are moving in the progressive direction of being "sanctuaries." Sanctuary cities allow people who may not be u.$. citizens to make money here to send home to circulate in their own countries. This is a roundabout way of moving toward a world without borders. However, with accusations that some mayors are "soft on crime," the sanctuary status may be threatened. Additionally, there's nothing stopping federal agents from going into these cities and enforcing federal immigration law, as they often do.

While we favor these progressive steps toward protections for migrants in the u.$., we acknowledge that they aren't enough to lead to the end of national oppression. They are fragile reforms at best, that can be as easily revoked (or simply ignored). Another solution some have is integration of migrants into the u.$. exploiter nation through exploiter-size wages. This is an effort to reduce their potential as revolutionaries to that of consumers and labor-aristocratic parasites. What we truly need to end national oppression of migrants in the u.$. is to expose the "amerikkkan dream," and revolutionize the workers to support revolutionary movements in the Third World.

notes:
(1) Greene, Judith. Banking on the Prison Boom. August 2006.
(2) Fernandes, Deepa. Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration. Seven Stories Press, New York. 2007, p.119.
(3) "Detention Management," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Nov 20, 2008, http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/factsheets/detention_mgmt.htm
(4) Berestein, Leslie. Tougher immigration laws turn the ailing private prison sector into a revenue maker. San Diego Tribune, 5/4/2008.
(5) Fernandes. p. 195.
(6) http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/rewrite/budget/fy2009/homeland.html
(7) Fernandes, p.178.
(8) Ibid., p.185. Border Technologies, Inc. founder believes that "Mexican culture is based on deceit" and "Chicanos and Mexicanos lie as a means of survival."
(9) Ibid., p.197.
(10) Ibid., p.50.
(11) Wilder, Forrest. How a private prison pushed immigrant inmates to the brink. The Texas Observer, October 2, 2009. http://www.texasobserver.org/features/the-pecos-insurrection

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[Abuse] [Federal Correctional Institution McKean] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 11]
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The Pigs Feed at the Lockdown Trough

The McKean Federal Prison in Bradford, Pennsylvania is on lockdown due to a fight between African-American gang members and Mexican-American gang members. Nobody was hurt and all those involved or thought to be involved have been placed in segregation. So the threat of continued violence no longer exist, however the prison administration has decided to continue the lockdown indefinitely!

Due to the ill-treatment that we are going through in here, we seek the help of MIM concerning this matter. As this lockdown is about money, not a security threat as you will see.

It should be noted that an Acting Warden took over the week following the fight, and does not want to take responsibility for lifting the lockdown.

It is obvious that the threat of violence no longer exists since the prison administration allowed 30 to 40 prisoners to go to work in the prison's UNICOR factory. If there were a serious security threat why are these prisoners being allowed to go to work? They're not feeding prisoners or washing clothes, but working in the prison factory making cups, spoons and forks!

The prisoners have only been allowed 2 showers a week. They have been feeding us 1 thin slice of cold cuts, 1 thin slice of cheese, 4 slices of bread, 1 spoiled fruit, 1 small pack of cookies, and 2 drink mixes. Several prisoners have been suffering from constipation. They have started giving us lukewarm meals, but those meals aren't any better.

We have been denied access to commissary except to buy stamps and batteries, denied access to the law library, phone calls, etc. But the main problem, once again, is the food.

Now, due to the lockdown, the staff here gets extra pay. So there is this possible link which motivates the continuation of the lockdown, especially due to the situation our economy is in. And with the majority of the staff here being related to each other in one way or another, nepotism is rampant here. There is no one the prisoners can complain to in order to address our concerns. And that is why I am writing you. This lockdown is about MONEY!

It is my hope that your legal department will call the acting warden, any of the associate wardens or the Captain at McKean and inquire about this situation. As you know, they will LIE, but one or two phone calls threatening legal action will bring about a change.

The phone number to the McKean Federal Prison is (814) 362-8900.

see our analysis on the parasitic economics of the amerikkkan prison system in ULK 8

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 11]
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A Union of 3 rival gangs coming together through hip hop

Hoover Street Crips/Neighborhood Rollin 60/9 trey Gangsters Bloods UBN

Thought U Should Know


by C-Blow, Solo & Streetz

What you fail to understand is that the oppressed are oppressing the oppressed
and that's word to the Hoover Crip tatted on my neck
We find justification in our selfishness and tranquility in our ignorance
It's a major achievement to have a half Black president, now look into your hearts and tell me what it represents.
9/11 many loved ones murdered seems the government knew the killer yet Bush got away
criticized as 1/4 of man blatant repression
Sharing with you real life confessions and fears. Encouraging you to destroy yourselves
living the suicide life successfully corrupted for I too lived in your position
finding fool in our EOPs afraid to hope breath shaky from speaking of the revolution
2 million plus caged in plantations, patiently waiting, and that's what they have on us
we "patiently" waiting so now that MIM got the seeds planted amplifying our voice
it's time for a demonstration of lumpen liberation. Abandoning the chains restraining us.
Out of 2 million prisoners, only 100,000 devout but an organized threat each one teaching one
educated against the corruption of man revolution reform no more simply surviving
that's why they keep us divided they know our strength.
We just don't seem to recognize our own
our culture, our struggle, our resistance, our time to overcome
seeing beyond what's visible. We fight it's that simple or the injustice that we living
will be lived by our children's children
No more accepting our communities destruction watching in hiding
We targeted amongst many they wishing to eradicate us a target of ridicule
Our names etched in the cement a replica of the life we lived
from a lack of introspection, without solidarity and strategizing
we'll continue being slaved puppets in the governments illusion
masquerading our freedom

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[Organizing] [Maryland] [ULK Issue 11]
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Drop the Pacifiers and Take Action

Greetings from a new soldier in the struggle. I'm the brother who was inspired to join the movement when I read the comrade's article in ULK number 8: Remove the Profit Motive. Since that time I've become indigent. I'm letting the state fork the bill for my incarceration.

I'm writing today about our need for unity. I've seen a couple of things that impede our uniting. One is separation by gangs; there only needs to be two gangs, us and them: "Admin."

Second, I know all my comrades know that the administration's across the country use televisions, radios, fans, etc. And now here Play Station 2's as a "pacifier" and "control tool."

I see grown men jumping with joy to be allowed to buy Play Station. Administration sitting back laughing. That's it, take this pacifier, forget your problems and we'll continue to do to you what we want.

I'm in the process of sending my appliances home. I want to focus on what's important, my rights and the injustices going on in prison town USA.

The fear to lose these pacifiers I mentioned hold a lot of brothers back from bucking the administrations and their strong arm tactics.

I hear it all the time, I'm not losing my privileges fighting for something that will not change. They're right, it will not change with that attitude. The show of unity is the only way to make a change.

Administration here now sends all your property home when you receive 180 days or more on lock up. These people are smart, they know a large percentage of the population don't want to lose those pacifiers. So we remain guinea pigs, they test to see what they can get away with.

I'm now focused on what I can do to fight peacefully against these gate keepers. I'm testing to see if I can get population to come together for a peaceful demonstration. I'm asking everybody in population to skip one meal in protest to the injustices that are going on. We in prison need to stop talking, stop complaining and come together and take action. Send them pacifiers home, stand up and be a man.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Current wars in the Congo that have displaced and killed millions of people over a ten-year period are being dubbed the “Playstation War” because of the direct relationship between mining for coltan, and this metal’s use in manufacturing Sony Playstations, as well as other electronics.

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 11]
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Kkklinton Censors Article then Cracks More Skulls

Under Lock & Key No. 10 page 11 has been found unacceptable for the following reason:

"page 11 violate guideline IIE of Directive 4572 as they allege that an inmate at a New York State Correctional Facility was being mistreated by New York State Department of Correction Staff. It is the opinion of the Media Review Committee that this article, if introduced into a correctional setting, could incite disobedience toward correctional personnel."

There is no way that an article could incite disobedience toward correctional personnel in this facility. Since my arrival at this very racist, corrupt, biased, gang-oriented facility, security personnel here have been on a war path brutalizing numerous convicts unchallenged. Three guys remain here on SHU who were allegedly engaged in fights with other prisoners who were brutalized by security staff. One of them was not only beaten in general population by security staff, but when he went on an escort call out of the SHU one of the officers who was involved in the first assault against him orchestrated an ambush while the prisoner was being escorted through the hall returning from this call out. The officer busted the man's head open while he was in a waist chain and hand cuffs.

Most of the prisoners assaulted by gang staff members are alleged affiliates of prison organizations, yet none of their cronies raised up to the occasion. So how in the hell could an article incite disobedience?

MIM(Prisons): The article in question was one of a series of reports from prisoners at Clinton documenting the abuse there. As laid out in Johnson v. Raemisch, it is illegal for prisons to censor publications because they are critical of staff. Lesson from Clinton staff: if you utilize legal grievance procedures, you'll have your rights and your persyn violated. But use of violence and abuse on the oppressed will get you a well-paid job with the state of New York!

This article referenced in:
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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 11]
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Positive Rap

They got me Under Lock and Key
The movement that got me ta see
How these imperialist capitalist countries
want us to be
Dumb to the facts
They don't care
Whether we white, Latino or Black
Why we glorifying those things
That got us right where we at
In this position
Tryna find our ways
Out of these prisons
Time ticking away
Mail censored
So we gotta watch what we say
Oppression gets worse by the day
Commissary prices up
But we continue to pay
Defeating the cause
Time 2 take a second and pause
Why we giving our money away
When they only giving us
17 cents 4 a pay
No medical benefits
So who really benefits
The rich keeps getting rich
Why we getting the short end of the stick?

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[Spanish] [Florida] [ULK Issue 11]
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Carta del pueblo inmigrante a los Estados Unidos

Qué fácil es sembrar la semilla de la decepción en las mentes y los corazones de un pueblo ignorante, descendientes de inmigrantes, quienes se sienten diferentes porque hablan inglés, o no se dan cuenta de la corrupta filosofía que les roba día a día la verdadera unidad, y niega la verdad que América ha sido forjada con el sudor de nuestras gentes, quienes siempre se han hecho presentes en los campos de batalla, junto al pelotón, sin importarles la aflicción de una guerra que no es nuestra, y finalmente les pagas con traición.

América ¿Por qué hoy nos tratas como enemigos? ¿Después que hemos compartido como vecinos, y sin importar nuestra educación todos estos años nos esperaste con los brazos abiertos, con bombos y platillos? ¿Porque hoy, en nuestras fronteras parecemos enemigos? Soldados persiguiendo a mis hijos y tu pueblo gritando nuestra separación. Porque para ti, es más fácil observar los errores de nuestros hijos, que las destrucciones que estas causando al otro lado del mundo, en aras de otorgar la libertad al pueblo libre. ¿Cuántos huérfanos y viudas han dejado tu avaricia?

Dime o USA ¿Por qué nos culpas a nosotros los inmigrantes de tu desdicha, desdicha que has traído tú misma a tu casa al invadir Afganistán? Te ha sido muy fácil confundir tu pueblo llenando su mente de odio y rencor contra sus vecinos, mientras tú continúas derrochando y malgastando un dinero que no es tuyo.

Que fácil te ha sido llenar las mentes de corrupción a un pueblo desesperado por respuestas, solo has tenido que apuntar el dedo y ellos, como perros de cacería nos persiguen noche y día. Pero te has olvidado de algo ¡La revolución no ha muerto! Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Albizu Campos, Ramón Matías Mella, y el Che, todavía viven en los corazones revolucionarios de cada inmigrante, mintiéndonos conscientes que tus acciones en contra de nosotros, una vez amigos tuyos, es una muestra de tu propia autodestrucción.

MIM, quiero darle las gracias por darme la oportunidad de poder expresar mis sentimientos en cuanto a la situación por la que nosotros los inmigrantes estamos pasando. No es fácil estando detrás de las murallas del opresor, poder aportar su opinión en contra de la persecución que se ha gestado contra nosotros los inmigrantes. América sin nosotros sería como una hermosa mujer que carece de un ojo.

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[National Oppression] [Legal] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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Foreign Nationals Face Brunt of Population Crisis

The State of California faced a "two-pronged" problem this year with regards to housing "alien" prisoners. The first came as a result of the economic calamity which eliminated most forms of tax receipts, which in turn finance various State programs. Secondly, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), has been ordered to reduce the massive number of prisoners held (often more than twice design capacity).

Unfortunately, any perceived relief will be looked upon not as "safeguarding human rights," but being "soft on crime." Regardless of political party affiliation, if a legislator can be shown as being remotely compassionate to criminals, his life in politics is in dire straits, almost certainly at an end. This creates a rather hypocritical dogmatism between being "financial stewards," and "tortuous demagogues." So, the "powers-that-be," have chosen a rather stealth-like hypocrisy that appears sound to the tax-payers, and helps continue the ethnocentrism of the post-9/11 era: Deportation of Aliens Who Completed Their Prison Terms.

Consider this for a moment:

If "Jose Garcia" [arbitrary name] is arrested and convicted of any criminal offense, he will face deportation only after serving his time in an American prison. In some cases, it makes no difference, because the "Alien" is serving an Indeterminate Sentence (Life; Life Without Parole; Death; etc...), and will not be released. It does not matter whether his "papers were in order," or if he waded the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, he still faces deportation. In some rare cases, the prisoner will not be deported because he faces death in the receiving country (Libya, Syria, Iran, China, etc...), but this is also open to "political interpretation." An Iraqi citizen may be sent "home," because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, and there is a "legitimate government in Iraq" (Bush #43's words, not mine) and the threat of torture has been lessened (compared to what?). So, "Jose", serves his term and is hustled to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gulag, pending decision to deport.

The insidious nature of this legislation/Court Order, is that it neither provides relief for the refugee who has fled his country's economic abyss, or provide "security" for prisoners who are existing in nightmarish dungeons that lack essential medical and mental health services. Meanwhile, the state legislators continue to support prisons in their districts for their own profit and for jobs for their constituencies.

State courts are simply an extension of their political friends hypocritical policies, and generally refuse to accept reality as a guiding principle. The Federal Courts, while not without their flaws, are more likely to answer the complaints of the down-trodden with something similar to justice. The problem with the Federal Court is that they drag on forever and create such insurmountable complexities that most people are incapable of succeeding in their quest for "justice." The recent cases noted before (Plata v. Schwarzenegger, and Coleman v. Schwarzenegger) have been active for eight years and eighteen years, respectively. The recent court order was for the reduction of the prison population by 40,000 over the next two years. On the surface it seems like a victory for the Prison Abolition Movement, but the State has twisted it around and essentially no relief will be seen. Instead of a legitimate reduction in sentences, or other mannerism which might have a perceived legitimacy, the CDCR has announced that they will start sending people to ICE more rapidly, and will shuffle papers and falsify reports until the State implodes.

I personally know a man who has lived in this country for most his life, but due to his extensive criminal record, may be deported to Iraq (he's Armenian). ICE is kind of in a "Catch-22": Politically, to send someone back to Iraq would show "faith in the new Iraqi government"; but to refrain, would keep a "Career criminal" on American streets. Do they recognize the absolute surreal failure of the American "gulag archipelago?" No. They proclaim a lost war won, and sacrifice someone who might well be killed upon arrival, as a sign of "success" in Middle-East policy.

Needless to say, the "California Dream" is now excluding non-naturalized foreigners, and any attempt at succeeding without the appropriate documentation is hazardous to your "Freedom."

Handling Deportation Threats

When asked by foreigner prisoners, on how to proceed, I examine several factors before making any recommendation:

1. Where are you from? (What is the political climate there?)
2. What offense brought you to prison? (Murder, rape, etc. are hard to defend. Petty possession, shop-lifting, etc. are easier to bring "mitigating circumstances" into the question.)
3. What kind of skills do you bring to society? (A dope fiend with no education will find little sympathy, where an engineer or a doctor will be of some interest.)
4. What political affiliations do you have? (The "Red Scare" still exists, as does massive disinformation about anarchism. If you are perceived as a possible threat, you will be neutralized.)
5. Finally, are there any advocacy groups who specialize with your country, region, political group, religion, et al.? (Being from Mexico will only help you if you can convince your captors that you face death if returned to Mexico (drug war). Guatemala and Honduras have significant political strife that can be used to prevent deportation back there. Other places have different circumstances that should be publicized by the U.S. State Dept. or various news agencies. Reach out early for help and publicity.)

Seek out copies of Prison Legal News and the addresses of whatever embassy or consulate is pertinent to your citizenship. Most nations require "detaining nations" to notify them of having possession of one of their citizens (see: "Consular Notification and Access," U.S. State Department). Within this guide, are the "basic instructions" of political rights, printed in 13 languages, along with the telephone numbers of most consulates and embassies. In a few circumstances where the United States does not have "Diplomatic Relations" with a country, you have access to either the United Nations Delegation or a Neutral Country (Sweden, Switzerland, etc.), who will contact your nation of origin (if you so wish).

The key point for anyone facing deportation to remember is that the political climate of the United States is precarious at best, and if you are facing deportation to a reasonably stable area (no warfare, drug gangs, massive infectious disease issues, kidnapping, rape, etc.), and you are not facing extra detention as a result of being deported "home," it may be better to utilize what contacts you've made in the United States and improve the conditions of your "home" country. If, while incarcerated, you learned how to repair computers, or used more modern construction techniques, perhaps you can be of value there. Further, if you developed friends in this country, possibly they can continue communicating with you and possibly bring relief to the economic scene in your locale.

Regardless of the circumstances, you are not alone. There are scores who have faced the same crisis before, and likely even more will face similar in the future. No matter what, keep your dignity. A coward dies a thousand deaths. A brave man only one. Fascist, sociopathic lunatics may be ruling most countries, but their effect upon you is where you can limit their power. If you refuse to bow down to their nonsense, they lose the battle over your will. You hold the power to determine your fate: use it wisely and with honor.

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

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Utah] [ULK Issue 11]
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Utah's Finest

To protect and serve or belittle and torture?
It's the same to me, to them I'm not sure
Kind of feels like these pigs they feel that
They enjoy our deaths, our "suicides" and body bags
Abu Ghraib wasn't a fluke or freak of nature
Those atrocities pale in comparison to what I see here
Except this stuff's o.k. if we're Amerikans?
Faces filled with expressions of understanding
Loving benevolence as if they're doing me favors
And I'm deserving of my cage, not a slave here
Questioning my motives, like "Why's he fighting back?"
Your corrections made me this way, that's real as a heart attack.

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[Political Repression] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 11]
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Comrade Drops Out of Study Group Because of Repression

Dear MIM,

Hello comrades. How is life on the outside treating you? I hope the injustice system is not overpowering you or your goals in life. As far as me, I keep an optimistic view of everything which happens to me. But recent events are really taking a toll on me.

First off I want to say I'm going to drop out of the study group until I go home due to incorrigible censorship that's transpiring here at Red Onion State Prison. I've been recently attacked with violence and threats to my safety and well being. They say they're investigating me as a possible terrorist associate and have taken everything, and I mean everything I owned in this penitentiary. So all my books, materials, etc. were confiscated. And I just recently came out of total isolation in a cold, dark lonely cell with nothing but a torn up bible to read. I was physically assaulted on June 6th and was not able to write it up (push my grievance) because I was in this predicament. It is an injustice to be treated like this. I am a human being! Just because I committed a crime doesn't diminish my capacity to feel and act on emotions! I can't wait for the revolution! I'm definitely gonna get some retribution! But I'm not going to be naive enough to just jump out the window on some fuck shit.

You know all of this stemmed from my political associations. But you better trust and believe I'm not going to let it hold me down or stop me from doing what I need to do and to stand up for what I believe in. Because if I won't stand for something, I'll fall for anything. And I'm not gonna fall for no bullshit.

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[Organizing] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 11]
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Exposing repression, working to effect change

Your May 2009 issue of Under Lock & Key is probably one of MIM's best work to date. This is a classic publication. The exposure of the repressive agent's oppressive systematic slave labor prison camps here in imperialist united states of Amerika is mind boggling, to say the least! Others and myself are very in tune to this information, as we are directly victimized by it.

There has been much discussion on this subject amongst a selective few prisoners who want to effect a change but don't quite know how to incorporate the masses within our confinement. I, and others, have elected to stop coming out of the cells to work, yard, showers, etc., for 120 days. We suggest that others participate and we want to discuss what demands should be put on it.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We support the movement towards collective action by prisoners to effect change in repressive conditions. However we must think carefully about refusing to leave cells. The access to other prisoners in the yard is a key way in which our comrades organize behind bars. An upcoming issue of ULK will be focused on organizing strategy and tactics, so we welcome comrades' responses to this letter.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Florida] [ULK Issue 11]
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Unity Only Possible Among Friends

Your opening statements in the issue I received are true with regards to the need for unity among the masses in the concentration camps nationwide. I've been in the system 13 years now and I've felt helpless and hopeless for a lot of years because it seems impossible to accomplish.

This is a very complex issue to approach because the division that separates us is multi-faceted. Never mind the different gangs that believe in their individual causes to be against another gang, but you have Blacks can't unite, whites can't unite, Latinos can't unite. And then you have the younger generation of prisoners that are divided from the older generation. Then you have the short-times with little time left to serve on their sentence who are unwilling to stand for a cause that a lifer will stand for because of fear of getting more time.

You have the haves and the have-nots in prison who separate and create yet another division because those with no money or regular source of income will not stand with those with money when it comes time to start a protest by refusing to go to food service for the lack of sufficient amounts, to the spoiled and rotten food regularly served.

The divisions between prisoners is equivalent to blind people trying to put together a 2 million piece jigsaw puzzle. Right next to quite impossible. Having said this, I still believe some effort at the attempt, no matter how futile, is much much better than quiet and docile acquiescence.

Under Lock & Key is an intelligent yet small step in the right direction. I say "small" step because it may be that several generations will come and go before universal consensus is reached that we need to stop fighting each other and start helping each other. Nevertheless, I accept my responsibility in this cause and become educated in the ways of the brothers and sisters that came before me like Huey P. Newton, Assata Shakur, Malcolm X and others.

I believe when no one will listen to words the only way to lead is by example of personal actions. If various states ban, censor, or put restrictions on ULK those of us have a vested responsibility to live the ideology as best we can under the circumstances.

While living the cause each day we should try to come up with solutions to the various levels of our division. For example, Amerikan tax-payers work each week and taxes are deducted from their paychecks to fund the prison system in each individual state, yet very few tax payers question the use of those collective funds. Paying taxes is an established institution in the U.S. so hardly any question the use when the challenges of making ends meet are more pressing. But if public safety is the justification for taking more and more taxes each year then why is crime not being eliminated? Simple, because crime creates jobs, jobs generate revenue and revenue funds the elitists who own the corporations that ULK works hard to educate us about.

So one way we all can help is by not only focusing on our divisions, but instead trying to educate the masses with information about the abuses of tax-payers' funds on some of the things inside the system. For example, here in Florida the taxes run the prison system yet still each day thousands of prisoner receive money orders from family and friends to help us keep our hygiene and other necessities, only for the Florida Dept of Corrections central office to tax each money order, twice. They take 50 cents from each prisoner deposit, and they take 10 percent of the total amount each prisoner spends for the week. So for example, if a prisoner spends the entire $75 weekly limit, they take $7.50. This is already on top of the money our loved ones pay in taxes each week, month and year.

It takes money to right money so the dissemination of information on the abuses we endure with the criminal injustice system must be only the foundation to which this movement is built upon. We must create think-tanks out of the cells they use to confine us. We must be educated on the knowledge of social engineering.

The anti-imperialist movement hinges on a backbone of resistance to the direction in which the elitist is taking the world. We are the corrosive element in their motor. We must come together ideologically, socially, personally and even financially to gain strength in this movement.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We support this prisoner's call for unity and the hard work of educating and organizing people to fight the criminal injustice system. However, we do not think the strategy of organizing taxpayers for their own financial interest is correct at this time in Amerika. The vast majority of Amerikan workers have a financial interest in imperialism. And the Criminal Injustice System is a prop used to keep imperialism running strong. Amerikans recognize this and strongly back the police and locking up more people. Frankly, if you brought these issues to their attention they'd probably cut the funding for food and toiletries more. Families with loved ones in prison would be the exception.

As we think about our organizing strategies, we must first have a clear idea of who are our friends and who are our enemies. This does not mean we cannot influence or even ally with enemy classes at times, but we must not treat them as friends and allies in our struggle. MIM(Prisons) focuses on organizing prisoners, and we know that without organized prisoners there is no real prison movement. Prisoners should be looking to each other (as this comrade suggests with think tanks), as well as their families and communities that are affected negatively by the injustice system for solutions.

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[Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 11]
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Response to Legal Help Request

I just got my first issue of Under Lock and Key (July 2009, No 9). Needless to say, I sure appreciated it. The mail room personnel did not censor it, but that does not necessarily mean they won't in the near future. I write to respond to the letter that was written by the Georgia prisoner (Pig Enables Stabbing of Prisoner in Riot, May 2009). Hopefully you will print my letter so our comrade can read it and use the information therein.

First, to our comrade, you've got to file your complaint at the unit level and keep copies of it and any other documents that you file with the administration because you'll need to file a title 42 United States Code Section 1983 lawsuit for a redress of grievances. Write down everything that happened to you, as well as everything else that you have done since to secure medical care, etc., for this will definitely come in handy for your lawsuit. If you've got any witnesses that are willing to help you out by testifying you need to try to keep in contact with them.

Second, you need to do some legal research in the unit's law library to better understand your situation and to go about filing your lawsuit. You can write the district court where the incident occurred and request the necessary forms to file your suit. The district court's address should be in the unit law library (there should be a "venue list" or simply request the address from the unit law library). There's a lot you need to know and do and there's not enough space here to expound.

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[Spanish] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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El Agua Contaminada es Buena por CDCR

Hoy recibí la respuesta a mi Apelación de la Administración (602) del Director de las Correcionales de California en relación al agua contaminada de aquí, y ellos sin duda alguna la negaron, diciendo que los niveles de arsénico en el agua no son lo suficientemente altos como para poner en peligro y en riesgo nuestra (los prisioneros) salud y como para proveernos (prisioneros) de agua limpia para consumo humano. Yo digo que eso es una tontería!

La primera vez que me di cuenta de los altos niveles de arsénico en el agua de la prisión de Kern Valley fué a travِés de la Red Institucional de Televisión. Ellos habían publicado un memorándum de CDC diciendo que el agua de las prisiones estaba contaminada con arsénico por sobre los niveles límites y legales del EPA's, y que las personas que beben agua de este tipo podrían ponerse en riesgo de contraer cáncer. [Los prisioneros en Kern Valley han estado peleando ésta batalla más de un año.]

[En otras noticias]...Al principio de ésta semana los cerdos se enojaron conmigo porque estoy ayudando a un amigo para que pueda recibir su pago. Los cerdos se equivocaron y pusieron a un prisionero de nivel cuatro dentro de una celda de nivel tres, el prisionero de nivel cuatro terminó atacando al del nivel tres, entonces yo decidí ponerlo al tanto de como obtener dinero de estos cerdos.

Ellos intentaron jugar conmigo y con mi compañero de celda tratando de ponernos en contra de nosotros mismos. Dañaron sus artículos personales, dejando mis cosas intactas tal como estaban. Pero nosotros sólo gozamos de esa mierda. Nosotros sólo miramos lo que ellos hacen desde lejos, y la lucha continúa. Ellos no pueden detener nuestra moción de avance ni nuestro desarrollo.

MIM(Prisiónes) añade: Una vez más, empleados estatales están tratando de promover la violencia en las prisiones del estado y los camaradas de MIM(Prisiones) están evitando conflictos, mientras luchan por justicia. La CDCR dice que censurará a MIM(Prisiones) porque somos una amenaza a la seguridad. Si los prisioneros ya no pueden ser manipulados por el Cuerpo de la Administración para que peleen en contra de ellos mismos la seguridad de la Institución está en peligro según la lógica de la CDCR.

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[Spanish] [Florida] [ULK Issue 11]
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Lucha Vietnamita Contra INS, Prisiones, y Persecución por ser "Ilegal"

Yo soy un inmigrante Vietnamita. Yo he estado en Amerikkka desde el 1985. Yo vine para este país cuando era un niño. Mi padre murió, asi que yo crecí en una casa adoptiva. Mi vida no es color de rosa, yo tuve mis altas y bajas. Esta es la segunda vez que he estado encarcelado. Mi vida esta cambiando mientras cresco.

Al terminar mi primera sentencia, yo fui recogido por INS (inmigración). Me dieron un día de corte, y un juez federal ordenó que me deportaran mientras esperaba por una visa para viajar, yo fuí enviado a diferentes carceles. Yo conocí personas que llevaban 5 o 10 años esperando, solo para ser deportados. Alguna gente no puede regresar a su país natal debido a persecución, y tampoco pueden ser puestos en libertad porque cometieron crimen en Amerika. Todos nosotros debemos pagarle nuestra deuda a la sociedad.

Pocos años despues, yo fui puesto en libertad con varias condiciones: yo tengo que reportarme mensualmente para pagar por una visa anual; pagar impuestos; y regresar a mi pais natal una vez tengan una visa preparada para mi. Yo tengo hijos que nacieron aquí.

Yo trabaje y mantuve un trabajo. Algunos de los trabajos que yo hice eran rigurosos. Solo los llamados ilegales y no-ciudadanos trabajan dichos trabajos. Trabajos que los Americanos no hacen, y todavia se ponen a llorar de que nosotros los ilegales y no-ciudadanos estamos ocupando posiciónes de trabajo.

Todos los meses yo vi el INS venir y barrer el area, chequeando gente para ver si tenían visas de trabajo. Esos que no tenían visas, eran recogidos y arrestados. Algunos eran tirados en prisiones federales por re-entrar. Familias están siendo rasgadas por estas razones. Algunos regresan porque tiene familiares aquí. Ellos regresan porque quieren ver sus hijos, hijas, madres, padres. Algunos familiares son muy viejos para viajar, o muy jovenes para entender.

Reciéntemente Oklahoma ha pasado una ley nueva llamada House Bill 106U. La ley especificamente atacó "ilegales" o no-ciudadanos en Amerika. Nosotros somos detenidos por ninguna razón, para que ellos puedan cuequear tarjetas de identificación. Si alguna companía contrata o le da cobijo a "ilegales," habrán multas y encarcelamiento. Algunos negocios pequeños cierran sus puertas porque "ilegales" temen trabajar.

Nosotros estamos siendo castigados por romper la ley, y castigados de nuevo por la corte federal. Nosotros somos culpables de no ser ciudadanos Amerikanos. ¿Algunos de nosotros no tenemos una voz. Algunas veces yo me pregunto, tendrá amabilidad algún valor en Amerika?

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[Spanish] [Washington] [ULK Issue 11]
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Pandillas Afiliación y Organización

Mi desarrollo ha sido muy parecido al de otros antes de mi, y al de aquellos que comparten las mismas condiciones de vida que yo enfrento ahora: pobreza, amistades, albergues. Mi madre era una drogadicta y mi padre un drogadicto mujeriego. Conocí el sistema mucho antes de que pudiera entenderlo, cada minuto que pasaba me volvía mas rebelde sin saber el por que de esto. Todos mis crímenes me fueron llevando a estar en las entrañas de la bestia.

Antes de continuar debo explicar mi historia; yo solía ser un Crip. Como la mayoría de jóvenes sin familia o hogar estructurado, yo era un joven deslumbrado por el lujo, el dinero, las mujeres, las drogas, las armas y los colores representativos de mi grupo. Como Crips nosotros solíamos disparar a las personas y cosas, nos dedicamos a robar y vender drogas dentro de nuestras mismas comunidades; fui participe de este grupo y estas actividades hasta hace unos tres anos cuando comencé a cuestionarme acerca del verdadero significado de las siglas Crips, las cuales supuestamente deberían significar revolución comunitaria en progreso, o como también, el por que hay tantos miembros de los Crips cumpliendo condenas en las prisiones estatales de Texas? Bueno, continue mi afiliación hasta hace 3 años por la razón de que esta pregunta y similares seguían resonandome.

Actualmente soy miembro de "Las Panteras Negras" de la prisión. Yo soy una persona realista por lo cual entiendo el hecho de enfrentar 6 años de condena. Así en esencia esto no es solo acerca de mi, esto es acerca de toda la comunidad; es por eso que mi compañero LK me dirigió hacia usted.

MIM(Prisiónes) responde: Esta carta es un muy buen ejemplo de lo que nosotros tratamos de conseguir con la actual edición de nuestra publicación "bajo llave y candado", enfocada en el tema de la paz (ULK 7). Este prisionero se encuentra enfrentado un estado de transición el cual es muy común dentro los reclusos que han llegado a desarrollar una conciencia política, la cual puede ser generada desde la formulación de una simple pregunta como, que estoy haciendo?. El habla acerca de como el sistema alimentan las actitudes rebeldes y de los desahogos autodestructivos de los jóvenes en las comunidades oprimidas, para los cuales la prisión es un típico final en su camino.

Ahora, algunos pensarán que si el no hubiera terminado en la cárcel el nunca hubiera cambiado, es más muchas veces escuchamos a los mismo prisioneros decir que la prisión les dio el tiempo para pensar y cuestionarse, esto es cierto algunas veces las dificultades obligan a las personas a superar las adversidades y continuar con el proceso de crecimiento personal. Pero esto no significa que las prisiones estadounidenses sean una fuerza positiva en la vida de los oprimidos. Por el contrario, las prisiones son una fuerza negativa que los oprimidos superan a pesar de todo, no por las condiciones generadas por ellas. Los programas desarrollados por la MIM(Prisiones) son un ejemplo de fuerzas positivas que lleva a que las personas no tomen el mejor camino, por que siendo realistas la mayoría de personas que cumplen condenas en el sistema penitenciario salen discapacitados mental y físicamente, drogadictos, llenas de odio y rabia, etc. Nosotros deberíamos tratar de organizar a los prisioneros que salen con una actitud fortalecida, ayudarlos en su proceso de transformación para que sean miembros productivos en la sociedad.

No es un secreto el por que los jóvenes se unen a las organizaciones de la calle. Lo que es menos conocido es como el gobierno involucra estas organizaciones con el negocio internacional del trafico de drogas y con otras peligrosas actividades criminales. El gobierno hace que estas organizaciones criminales actúen como agentes del estado que mantienen estas comunidades en su sitio, ya que los opresores no pueden hacer mucho para influenciar estas desde afuera. Es por esto que los compañeros concientes ven la necesidad de dejar estas organizaciones criminales por otras organizaciones que realmente ayudan a la comunidad.

Entonces, lo que estas cartas resaltan es como el actual sistema penitenciario falla en la regeneración de los reclusos, y como el sistema desperdicia las vidas y el potencial humano. Los oprimidos quieren ser libres y tener vidas con propósito, es por esto que ellos mismos deben crear instituciones que los ayuden a contrarrestar este sistema. Trabaja con el MIM(Prisónes) para tomar este trabajo importante.

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