Under Lock & Key Issue 14 - May 2010

Under Lock & Key

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[Theory] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 14]
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On strategy: breaking thru defenses

[In ULK 13, we printed some definitions that came from studying MIM Theory 5: Diet for a Small Red Planet, which focuses on line, strategy and tactics. In this article, we summarize some of the ways we applied those concepts to real world examples while discussing the rest of the articles in MIM Theory 5.]

There are basically two ways we can make errors in our political work. We can make rightist errors or ultra-left errors. How we avoid these errors depends on our ability to assess our material conditions, because what is left and what is right changes as conditions change. For example, we spent time discussing focoism and opposing it as ultra-leftist because it calls for armed struggle in the First World. Yet, we recognize that armed struggle is a necessity to overthrow imperialism when we reach that stage.

Looking left

While focoism was the main example, we tried to define ultra-leftism in a more broad sense. Ultra-leftism in general means giving the appearance of being to the left of the political spectrum to the point of moral purity. In practice, however, it's really so far to the left that it's useless to real revolutionaries because it makes us seek unrealistic goals. Ultra-leftism denies our material reality and replaces it with idealism. A second example of ultra-leftism might be spending all one's time attacking other revolutionaries for not being perfect.

Ultra-leftists hurt the Third World because every time a comrade has to pull one of these cats over and pull their coats, they take away time, energy and resources that can be used for the development of the Third World nations. Take the approach that one prisoner wrote in to ULK on commissary for example. S/he writes that instead of everybody buying store and keeping our stomachs from touching our backs when our oppressors are feeding us like we're children, we should send all our money home. Not to our brothas and sistas in the Third World, or the institutions established by comradz in the U.$. that truthfully provide for them. But send all the money home. And then what?

This is an example of ultra-leftism because, to some, this may seem revolutionary and rebellious but in reality it is irrational thinking. The idea is based in purity rather than a strategy with the objective goal of overthrowing imperialism. You can tell that the motivation is purity because the question is how do we not contribute to the system rather than how do we contribute to something that will change or end the system. This ignores material reality because you can't take the food from prisoners; then we'll really underdevelop our situation.

Looking right

When looking at rightism, the main problem we face is "revolutionaries" that want to organize the majority of the people in the United $tates. By catering to the majority in a First World country a party's politics are inevitably watered down - because the majority (in a First World country) are not oppressed. They put out a right opportunist line and get just whoever comes along. Basically, if you're an organization in the First World and have a large following you stand for bourgeois ideals. Once a person understands this you can pretty much place your bets on the small underdog movement for the correct line/vanguard status.

While we must defend against right opportunism within our ranks, we might ally with those who are openly reformist and therefore to the right of us. Revolutionaries work on reforms because some do improve the lives of people on a small scale, but ultimately we do it to show the people that reforms do not work in the end and what they really need is full-scale revolution. Trying to get some resources that will help advance the revolutionary's goals is a winnable battle worth fighting.

An example of a reform that can help a small percentage of the oppressed and could be used as a tactic in a larger strategy is limiting the number of people going into these torturous control units. Doing that work exposes the United $tates' cruelty, disregard for international law, brutality, etc. Hence it may help to work on SMUs, IMU, MCC, Ad-MAX, etc. struggles and inhumanities because as Mao said about public opinion. "The task of communists is to expose the fallacies of the reactionaries. . . and so accelerate the transformation of things and achieve the goal of revolution."

While we may unite with and lead reformist battles, revolutionaries should not join liberal mass organizations because they will eventually be forced to water down their politics for the sake of the single issue organization or risk alienation. Also, by working within a single issue organization, revolutionaries may inadvertently be holding it back by disempowering potential recruits, thereby disempowering the group. One way they do this is by alienating potential new recruits with their more worked out politics, leaving the potential recruits feeling as if they have nothing to offer.

Mass organizations and single issue work are good ways for the middle class to contribute to the anti-imperialist cause. We need to be looking to build alliances with them when it genuinely serves the international proletariat. In addition, we need to pay close attention to mass organizations because a lot of people are brought into politics through them. And we need to be there to challenge them to struggle for the real solution of humyn beings, communism.

Find the opening

In addition to reading MIM Theory 5, we studied two articles from the Black Panther newspaper entitled "In Defense of Self-Defense" and "The Correct Handling of a Revolution." In the latter article, Huey P. Newton wrote that, "the party must engage in activities that will teach the people." In our discussion of how to do this, one comrade discussed what s/he coined "MIM(Prisons) University of Thought," which includes the various study and discussion groups MIM(Prisons) facilitates. Through this institution, individuals have the opportunity to learn through study: the Party, its line and its history. Individuals can study the organization of movements through out our struggle for communist leadership by the proletariat and learn not only its victories and successes, but also its stagnation and failures.

Another related activity would be a campaign for the creation of giving (books, postal stamps, money, art, music, etc) by comrades that have to give. And everyone has something to give. An institution should be established that allows prisoners to send donated books to the cause, as well as funds. MIM(Prisons) has the lit project to distribute literature. This same institution can be used for prisoners who either have to send their books home due to excessiveness, or going to a control unit, or who want to just contribute to the cause. Some might wonder why not recycle them on the yards? But only at small levels can this be effective activity in educating the prison mass. If we want to become internationally unified, we must then think internationally.

Such a project not only progresses our efforts to receive the favor of the masses, but it also gives us an institution to counter the bourgeois-imperialist propaganda that is spread throughout this U.$. capitalist imperialist society.

Part of Huey's point was to teach through action. So not only are people learning from the books, but they are learning from the sharing and coordinating of materials as a collective group outside of a for-profit/business structure. Even an illiterate comrade could learn from the example of the program. Other activities mentioned that can teach the people were breakfast programs, community rehab on parks and other resources and lawsuits to fight censorship.

In addition to this summary, our study and discussions are reflected in a number of articles composed by comrades that appear in this issue and will appear in the future. We also added to and further developed the study guide for this topic (Strategy & Tactics), which we encourage all serious comrades to study when they get the chance.

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Abuse in High Desert hits mainstream, ban lifted

In May 2010, the Sacramento Bee published a series of articles detailing abuses of prisoners in long-term isolation in several CDCR prisons, including at High Desert State Prison (HDSP). (1, 2) On 10 May 2010 they reported on the American Friends Service Committee's attempt to have the brutality claims brought against High Desert investigated by the state Senate, in hopes that an official investigation would lead to restrictions on the use of long-term isolation. (3) We commend the Sacramento Bee for bringing such an important issue to their mainstream audience. (Although judging from the comments left on the article at sacbee.com you would think members of the CCPOA are the only people who read it.)

These articles by the Sacramento Bee reconfirm much of the information published in Under Lock & Key and on www.prisoncensorship.info since January 2008 that staff at HDSP commit a long list of atrocities against prisoners to manipulate them into submission, or for just plain fun. These abuses include, but are not limited to: tampering with mail, privileges, food, and medical care; calling prisoners racist names; tampering with/discarding/ignoring grievances; and the sweeping use of excessive physical force and sexual coercion. (4-6) Recently we received reports of a racist, oppressive lockdown of so-called "northern Hispanics", which further proves that these injustices are still going on today.

As an outside organization sending literature to prisoners inside, the form of repression MIM(Prisons) is most familiar with at HDSP is their strong commitment to keep prisoners isolated by using arbitrary, outdated, and illegal censorship practices. They have consistently returned mail to us unopened. When asked for an explanation, they cited an outdated ban that was overturned in a settlement between Prison Legal News and CDCR in April 2007.

In a letter from HDSP Warden Mike D. McDonald dated April 23, 2010, he uses poor writing skills to ambiguously admit that there is no ban on MIM literature, while still maintaining that all mail from "MIM Publishers" is a threat to security.

"High Desert State Prison has been receiving MIM Publications [sic] from your company which contains information that could pose a threat to the safety of staff and inmates. This publication is in violation of California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 15 and the Department Operations Manual (DOM).

". . . All MIM publications that are sent to this institution will be reviewed on an issue-by-issue basis. If it is found that a publication has violated our policies it will be disallowed and the inmate will receive a CDCR-1819 Notification of Disapproval."

Even though Warden McDonald avoided answering the direct question laid out in the letter he is responding to ("Why was MIM Theory 8: Revolutionary Nationalism returned to us with 'Disallowed Item' stamped on the envelope and no further explanation?"), it is still a step in the right direction for him to allege that lit from MIM(Prisons) will be reviewed on an issue-by-issue basis in the future.

Thanks to the articles in the Sacramento Bee, public pressure on the administration at HDSP is at a high point. We look forward to hearing from prisoners in HDSP regarding their receipt of ULK 14, or those promised 1819s!

notes:
(1) Piller, Charles. "Guards accused of cruelty, racism" Sacramento Bee. May 9, 2010.
(2) Piller, Charles. "California prison behavior units aim to control troublesome inmates" Sacramento Bee. May 10, 2010.
(3) Piller, Charles. "Advocates call for probe of prison abuse allegations" Sacramento Bee. May 20, 2010.
(4) "Response to psycho-sexual warfare article" by a CA prisoner. Published in ULK issue 6.
(5) "High Desert, CA Control Units" by a CA prisoner. Published at [url=https://www.prisoncensorship.info
]www.prisoncensorship.info
(6) "High Desert bans MIM, falsifies reports on prisoners" by a CA prisoner. Published at [url=https://www.prisoncensorship.info

]www.prisoncensorship.info

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[Organizing] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Regarding security in prisons

I want to comment on something I read in the March/April 2010 ULK 13. I note that the SNYs [Special Needs Yards prisoners] are complaining about how the picklesuits are doing an excellent job of keeping prisoners in California at each others' throats. I doubt that there is a prisoner in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that hates/resists petty over-authoritated power as much as I do. But so many prisoners at the drop of a hat go SNY/PC(Protective Custody) that it created a mad rush for police defense for not just those who may need it for the few real reasons that may exist.

I'm in general population (GP) and I would stay in the hole before I would allow the pig to twist me up into that SNY/PC nonsense. I heard people in Administrative Segregation (Ad-seg) and the Security Housing Units (SHU) when I was there be proud to say in front of the pig that they are active this or that which is in effect volunteering intelligence to the pig. Then you got those seeking to gather intelligence to provide the pig and that is both in and out of SNY. While SNY may outnumber general population 3 to 1 it is clear to me that one's condition in prison will not in reality become much (if any) better. Seeking the easy way out creates a moral quandary in that the reality of prison in California has not changed and the exodus to SNY has provided the pigs with more leverage to abuse and play nationalities against each other to the detriment of the whole.

I do not sympathize with SNY conditions nor do I sympathize with the conditions of GP. The fact that so many have to run to SNY has made the Green Wall stronger, since you in SNY have run away from your responsibilities. There are some very sorry so-called men in these prisons nowadays and I personally can do my time on the line or in the SHU as I will never allow the pig to turn me into a passive submissive subjugated sheep.

Sun Tzu's Art of War emphasized knowing one's enemy and I believe that a SNY's own worst enemy is one's self. There's still a lot of so-called hard core gang members on the line that say "I don't want to go here or there cause I got enemies." What ever happened to dealing with an issue on sight or leaving the matter alone? Particularly when there is no real substance to the basis in which one claims enemies. I do not have any prisoner enemies; this is silly and to claim such to a pig is sheer stupidity as it is to tell the pig you are a gang member. However, this seems to have become the custom. Wherever you are, grow up and be a man and take responsibility for your actions and quit depending on others to fight your battles. Simply educate yourself on how to use real strategies and tactics in order to learn how to be brave, fortuitous enough to gravitate to those who have a selfless desire to make a difference for all of our brothers. Bias and prejudice exuded by those around you only works against you in the long run. Until one learns to unite for the true cause and quit telling on self or others, the nonsense will continue. It's easy to spot agent provocateurs and quislings, and observation will expose the creeps for who they are. Prisoners are an open book and if you use your brain you can find out accurate facts and there is an old navy saying that "loose lips sink ships." It's a fact, people who think, do not follow, they cooperate for mutual benefit.

MIM(Prisons) responds: The snitching discussion has brought a lot of interest from readers and is integral to a discussion of organizing strategy. Another important question for those under state supervision is creating space for organizing. The purpose of control units is to elminate the space within the prison system where study and agitation can occur.

We warn against an ultra-left stance that leads one to accept years in a torture cell with no access to other people and limited access to mail and literature just so you can toughly say, "I never submitted." Comrades in control units have a hard time doing work, which is the whole reason the SHU was invented. Comrades also suffer mentally and physically in ways that can affect their ability to be productive even after release. So telling people to take SHU should not be done lightly and SHU should not be taken as one's "duty" to the cause when you are really just setting the struggle back.

Certainly, this writer makes correct points about working with the state and how that plays into the overall oppression of oppressed nations. And certainly, there are cases where submitting to torture in a control unit is the best thing for the struggle. But as we pointed out in ULK 13, many are finding themselves in a situation where those who promised to serve their people are doing the state's dirty work themselves. As this comrade recognizes, conditions in GP in California aren't more commendable than what's going on in SNY. It was the lumpen organizations following CDCR leadership that made SNY possible by what they did in GP. They pushed people so far that they were willing to snitch on something they were once willing to die for. This is the reality of the situation now that we must deal with. And in that reality, we find comrades on both sides of the SNY/GP wall. If we do it right this time and eliminate all this fighting between the oppressed then we will start to deal with the problem of snitching in a material way. This comrade gets it right when he says it is silly for prisoners to claim they are enemies for no reason.

Finally, we disagree with the claim that agent provocateurs and quislings are easy to spot. It may seem that way when you are surrounded by lazy, self-interested people, but that is not always true, and the most dangerous agents are hardest to spot.

For more on the morality of snitching, see our accompanying article discussing "The situational ethics of snitching."

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[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 14]
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Snitch strategy backfires

When will prisoners stop repeating the same errors? I'm referring to the different examples where prisoners declare and promise to be the ones to contribute to change prisoners violations, inhumane conditions or prison problems? Then you realize that everything was only a trap. You burn your brain out trying to figure out how you became an oppressor, an enemy of prison change, or prison progress. That bunch of idiots who you thought were down/hard core prison reformers or revolutionaries, as always turn out to be only real cowards, or snitches. Functioning under lie after lie, to control you somehow.

Under the prison system, prisoners are turned into oppressors. A recent example is a group of prisoners devoted to snitching. They keep their Laundry List, as it is called, of targets for repression. They operate under sentencing guidelines 5K1.1 that has been ruled by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional. Under this guideline, they receive preferential treatment in exchange for snitch info. Prison informants usually turn in false information to the prison administration so they can get away with disciplinary infractions or other kinds of illegal actions.

Other city homeboys and I decided to infiltrate the snitch group that claimed they were against prison gangs, even though the group itself was acting as an undercover snitch prison gang that wanted prison protection in exchange for snitch info. They took it to another level: they turned in false info to the administration to lock up gang members or any prison group they feared, violent or not. If you didn't want to be a snitch you would end up in Ad-Seg, on lockdown, usually under false info. So now many sit in Ad-Seg, misclassified to prison gangs they never belonged to. The only way to get out of Ad-Seg in Texas is to denounce a gang. How do you denounce a gang you never belonged to?

Let's recall some of the Texas prison struggles. In 1974 the Texas prison system had no prison gangs, but officials had "Building Tenders" (BTs) carrying out all kinds of violence against other Texas prisoners. The BTs acted as prison guards dressed in white prisoners uniforms. They were allowed to get away with anything, even killings.

In 1976 the first Texas prison gang popped up, promising to go against the BTs, in an act of retribution that would present a better challenge for prisoner rights. The honorable United States Judge William Wayne Justice decided to abolish the BTs system, under a federal court ruling. With the BT system dead, other prisoners in Texas formed themselves into hostile prison gangs.

At the same time racist riots popped off across the Texas prison system because each cultural group was against each others' strategies to defend prisoners' rights. A "we got the better strategies for prison reform" mentality blossom up because "my" race or city is always better than "yours."

Today in the 2000s this group is the New Building Tenders. Yet their snitch, or rather false info, tactics against other prisoners has now backfired in their face because the ex-gang members continue to grow and have become a group that can't be placed in Ad-Seg unless they return back to their old gangs.

Once a Laundry List is turned in with all kinds of prisoners' names, 99.5% of the time they are placed in Ad-Seg. So the snitches proclaim to be doing a great job against Texas gangs. The prison system refuses to classify them as a gang so they cann't be placed in Ad-Seg as long as they stay in line.

Under the sentencing guidelines 5K1.1 methods, it allows the government (in this case the prison security threat office) to recommend a downward departure from the guidelines. In this case disciplinary reports given to prison informants, in exchange for substantial assistance provided to the government by a prison informant in the prosecution of others.

The availability of a benefit by cooperation with the government (prison administration) can create a strong incentive for a criminal defendant (prison informant) to exaggerate or even fabricate false info against another prisoner, which is usually acted upon without real facts or evidence.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Most lumpen organizations(LOs) have their origins in youth from a certain group banding together in self-defense. Originally, it was always self-defense from the oppressor nation who terrorized them to keep them outside of the labor market. Once the prison boom launched off the backs of the oppressed nations, then the need for self-defense from constant state harassment and brutality was needed. But the broader the organizations of the oppressed were, the more they were targeted for repression and destruction, leaving only the small, narrow-focused groups who were more easily turned against each other, especially after crack cocaine was thrown in the mix to create real economic competition between the groups.

Amerikkka has always repressed LOs because they represent a power of the oppressed that is independent of the state. When mere membership in an organization triggers the state to throw you in a torture cell, you must realize that something serious is going on.

Many people on all sides recognize that the struggle and strife between LOs got out of control a long time ago. Many among the lumpen have been critical of their current and former affiliations. As we said to the LOs in the last issue of ULK, the best way to stop snitching is to run an organization that the oppressed can respect, especially if you are recruiting people by claiming to represent the struggles of the oppressed in some way. Criminal organizations will never have a shortage of snitches, especially when the state is much more powerful than them.

Another issue brought up in this letter is the emergence of "anti-gang" organizations, which is not an uncommon thing. The writer asks how we can stop repeating the same errors and getting fooled into following false leaders. Well, the answer is by studying and establishing principles based on your studies that you always follow. One key principle of the anti-imperialist, or anyone hoping to serve the oppressed, is not to collaborate with the oppressor's state. That principle would prevent anyone with genuine intentions from joining a snitch group like the one discussed here.

Traditionally, Marxism considers the lumpen to be a fickle ally. They are often at the forefront of conflict, but have served many different class interests. Their lifestyle and conditions promote an individualism that is easily translated to snitch behavior. Note that the unnamed group discussed here is reportedly large and diverse and this story does not necessarily represent all groups going by that name, which is indicative of this individualist, fickle nature. As this comrade also points out though, among the oppressed, the snitches are the minority. So with good organization and correct principles, the interests of the oppressed will win out.

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[Civil Liberties] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 14]
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Nation trumps class around Arizona law

The new Arizona immigration bill SB1070, signed into law in April by Governor Jan Brewer, is the latest and most overt action in the ongoing battle against oppressed nations within U.$. borders. This law, which will take effect by August, assigns state police to question anyone they believe is in the United $tates illegally, and requires everyone to carry papers proving their legal status. It is even a crime to be caught without this proof.

As Arizona is a state bordering Mexico, it has a large migrant population, disproportionately from Mexico. In 2006, so-called "Hispanics" accounted for 29% of Arizona's population — most of them are Mexican. This is double the percentage of Latinos living in the United $tates in 2006. More than half of the Arizona residents in the "Hispanic" category were foreign born. While there is a concentration of Mexicans in Arizona, the portion of the population that is foreign born (14%) is not much more than the typical percentage of foreign born residents in the rest of the U.$. which was 12.5% in 2006.(1) But in Arizona it is skewed towards Mexicans (and migrants born in other Latin American countries) while other areas of the U.$. have larger concentrations of Asians, europeans, Africans and people born in other parts of the world. In the U.$. in general, 45% of the foreign born population is from Latin America, which means they make up less than half of the 12.5% of foreign-born migrants living in the U.$.(2) According to the U.$. census these numbers had not changed much by 2008 (the latest statistics available) in terms of the proportion of Mexicans and foreign-born residents in Arizona and the rest of the country.

This law is a logical step forward, or backward for the oppressed, in the Amerikan spiral down the anti-immigration toilet. Those who act like this law is un-Amerikan are missing a fundamental fact of Amerikan imperialism: it is founded on national oppression. The Arizona law is most definitely Amerikan, and for this reason we must oppose not only this law, but all so-called immigration reform. Immigration is a false issue of Amerikan imperialism which requires militarized borders to protect the wealth that it stole from the land and labor of people in other countries.

Rather than get caught up in talking about which people should be allowed the privilege of coming to the United $tates (generally people from other imperialist countries, or those who have done Amerika political favors like the Cubans who oppose Castro), we need to be fighting to open the borders. Recent migrants in the United $tates should be treated no different from those who came here over the past 500 years — we are all living on land stolen from the indigenous peoples. In contrast, the Mexican people migrating north have a legitimate claim to the land now comprising the southwest of the United $tates.

Between 1846 and 1848 the United $tates fought one of its earlier wars of external aggression, against Mexico, ending in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty established U.$. control of what is now the southwest of this country, but ironically guaranteed Mexican residents in that territory the right to retain their land and enjoy the rights of U.$. citizens. This portion of the treaty was promptly ignored by Amerikkkans and land owned by Mexicans was illegally annexed after the end of the war in acts of both private and government sponsored national oppression.

Labor aristocracy benefits from closed borders and illegal workers

It should be no surprise that a recent poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal found 46% of Amerikans strongly supporting the Arizona bill, while only 24% were strongly opposed. In fact, 24% might seem high to those of us who understand that the labor aristocracy has a strong interest in protecting the wealth of Amerikan imperialism and their role in benefiting from the exploitation of the world's people. This interest leads the labor aristocracy to support imperialist wars of aggression and reactionary anti-immigrant policies. However, this law in particular is one that will be opposed by a lot of Latinos, even if they may support wars of imperialist aggression. Because this law takes such a broad sweeping attack it is hard to get behind if you might look like you could be in the country illegally (read: are not white). So that 24% strongly opposing SB1070 includes people who are otherwise strong supporters of Amerikan imperialism. This is an example of why there are more allies to anti-imperialism in the Brown and Black labor aristocracy, even if they are not consistent.

Citizens of the United $tates are profiting just by being citizens, enjoying artificially high standards of living propped up by imperialist profits brought home and distributed in the form of high salaries with benefits, as well as services. As the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) explained in MIM Theory 1 and 10, the wealth in Amerika is not created in Amerika; Amerikan citizens are parasites. And to maintain this parasitism the country must keep the borders closed. Open borders would lead to a deluge of people migrating into the U.$. looking for an opportunity to partake in the wealth stolen from their countries.

Rather than share the wealth in the United $tates, borders are militarized and "illegal" workers are allowed in only when there is a need for truly cheap labor, because Amerikan citizens are not going to provide that labor. So Amerikan citizens benefit again from closed borders, in the form of workers to pick their crops, and do the jobs that no citizen wants, for cheap enough to keep the price of food, restaurant service, and house cleaning down.

Trust the prison industry?

One ironic element of Arizona SB1070 is the provision that they trust the police to pick out who might be suspected as an illegal immigrant without engaging in racial profiling. The reality of the criminal injustice system is blatant racial profiling as just one aspect of national oppression. The injustice system overtly targets oppressed nations within U.$. borders, from the police on the streets profiling or just setting people up, to the laws and courts which are skewed against oppressed nations, convicting disproportionate numbers of Blacks and Latinos and giving them longer sentences for the same convictions, to the prisons themselves which target oppressed nations to deny parole and lock in control units.

Everyone knows the police already engage in racial profiling, so why would they stop just when enforcing this law that is, in itself, requiring racial profiling. No one is going to stop a white person and say "Hey, I think you are here illegally from France, can I see some proof of your immigration status?"

Further fueling the prison industry, SB1070 gives the Arizona criminal injustice system an easy way to lock up more migrants, a growing trend in Amerikan prisons. As we reported in the Under Lock and Key #11 article National Oppression as Migrant Detention: "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. 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." We went on to point out that locking up more migrants helps fill empty prison beds, something that private prisons in particular are lobbying for.

Fight national oppression with unity

A dozen Black and Brown hip hop artists from Arizona came together to do an eight minute remake of Public Enemy's song By the Time I Get to Arizona called Back to Arizona to oppose SB1070 with a similar militant message. The original song documented the struggle to get racist Arizona to reinstate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday two decades ago. That history drove home the connection between struggles of all oppressed nations, which is a repeated theme throughout the video.

Among activists opposed to the new Arizona law, the slogan 'Do I look illegal?' has been gaining popularity. This question calls out the clearly racist intent behind the law which will require cops to pick out people who don't look like good white Amerikkkan citizens. As revolutionaries we call on all oppressed nations to join the fight against this latest legalization of national oppression. As anti-imperialists we must stand against all limits on migration. The two articles [ 1, 2 ] on this page written by comrades behind bars demonstrate, this unity and correct understanding of history.

Notes:
1. Pew Research Center Publication "Arizona's Population Growth Parallels America's", January 24, 2008.
2. Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 2006, Pew Hispanic Center.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 14]
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Forty-three to one


I never learned to turn the other cheek,
to bow down to oppression I think is being weak;
And who taught our children to love thy enemy,
how can they have pride in themselves and,
yet be accepting of tyranny;
I will not allow our youth to be confused by
false Amerikkkan history;
I will teach them honor of Marcus Garvey, George Jackson and Joseph Cinque of the Amistad mutiny;
I will show them unity, though it be a fist of solidarity,
gloved and also in a clench,
I will dispel the myths of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Bush and the notorious Willie Lynch;
You hold up images of Armstrong Williams, Clarence Thomas and no child left behind,
yet you outlaw Malcolm, Huey, Nat Turner and Bobby Seale's Seize the Time;
Your greed is fed by capitalism which creates
a world of endless war zones;
You sell Israel F-14s, yet you watch Palestine
defend itself with nothing but sticks and stones;
You proclaim equality, so we had hope during the trial of Rodney King;
You spoke of love as an eventual reality,
but in 1968 you assassinated our dream;
You exploit our words with pawn shops,
liquor stores and broken down shacks;
You sell our kids guns, pork chops, Jordans,
Lil Wayne, Kools, heroin and crack;
you brainwash our youth to be killers and to
fight for ole Uncle Sam, but when they lose
an arm, a leg or just need a helping hand,
you say there's no money in the nation's
wealth care program;
Innocent until proven guilty, at least that's what
the supreme court say;
It took you almost 14 years,
but you still came back to make O.J. pay;
Your credibility is reminiscent of chickens
being in the care of a sly old fox;
You gave the Amerikkkan natives a trojan horse,
infected with small pox;
You invaded the motherland, with a smile, a pistol
and filled with the holy ghost, and in the blink of an eye
it turned to mischief and bloodshed,
on Afrika's west coast;
You stole kings and queens and tried to turn
them into slaves,
but some chose the Atlantic ocean to be their cold wet graves;
Some were passive and obedient, they did what
they were told,
some were like Harriet Tubman and sought
their freedom on the underground railroad;
One refused the draft as he floated like a
butterfly and stung like a bee,
while one used nationality and religion to help
uplift fallen humanity;
one was on the move, got bombed, so you know
that we had to keep her,
One used a podium and socialism and we coined
all power to the people;
We've produced lawyers and doctors
and Langston Hughes a very poetic talker;
And with great ingenuity, our first female
millionaire was the incomparable madame CJ Walker;
Some tried to shake names like Toby or George
or even Cassius Clay,
But some were called Oscar because of "Monster's Ball" and Denzel's Training Day;
So now we have Obama, the 44th President is our own native son,
but you still find reasons to hate us,
even though you're still winning "forty three to one."

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[Civil Liberties] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 14]
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No to SB1070!

Them good ol' boys are at it again. As much as Amerikan pre$ident Barack Obama would like us to believe that we have reached a new stage in Amerikkkan society, in the form of a "post-racial Amerikkka," which is an oxymoron by the way, state sanctioned racism raises its ugly head yet again. This time it is in the form of Arizona's racist and illegal Senate Bill 1070. Racist, because it obviously gives Arizona's occupational forces (law enforcement) the right to stop or pull people over solely for the color of their skin.

Reactionaries in high places as well as other proponents of SB1070 argue that the power to stop and card people will only be called for with "probable cause," and that this power to card people for their citizenship papers is wholly sanctioned by the 4th Amendment of the constitution. However, we from the oppressed communities know full well that "probable cause" is a very loose and flexible term as applied by occupation forces. "Probable cause" can range from "gang attire" and looking "suspicious" to being seen by pigs in the wrong neighborhood. We from the oppressed communities recognize at a glance the obvious implications of "probable cause" such as "driving while Black." Only a fool or a racist would think this oppressive tool, SB1070, is right in any way.

Although the Amerikan judicial system has given occupation forces and the kangaroo court system wide berth and due deference when it comes to the way that they apply "probable cause," we must note that technically the way in which probable cause is actually applied is illegal. So it is no surprise that many people have expressed outrage at the idea of this racist and illegal law.

While "probable cause" has hystorically been directed at the lumpen class within the U.$., SB1070 now gives the state of Arizona the power to not just target the destructive side of oppressed nations, but the power to further oppress, harass, detain and deport whole nations of people within their jurisdiction, not to mention the authority that Arizona will now have to incarcerate people.

Just days before the signing of SB1070 into law, piece-of-shit republican senator Hunter of California appeared before news cameras touting the excellence and morality of the racist law. He then took it one step further however, when the good senator began advocating that the 14th Amendment be repealed to deny children born in the United $tates citizenship status if their parents are undocumented.(1) This further drives home that being Amerikkkan is about the fictional concept of race and not about where one is born, raised and pays taxes.

A week later, following the huge May Day protests that took place across the U.$., we saw the reactionaries and their allies attempt to push back with their meager show of support for the newly signed law by organizing counter-protests in bands of tens and twenties. These counter-protests were largely made up of the most backward Euro-Amerikkkans, however they did have some interesting mouthpieces at the front.

First, we heard from an openly gay man about how all "illegal aliens" should just go back to Mexico because all they brought to the table was crime, drugs, etc.(2) Then we heard from an African-Amerikkkan who was participating in the counter protests in a show of solidarity with his fellow Amerikkkans as well as claiming to represent a sell out organization called "Black Shield." He spoke of how Black people could no longer find good jobs or decent middle class jobs because Mexicans, and other "illegal aliens" were stealing them all.(3) It wasn't Mexicans who threatened to kill Blacks every time they tried to work in an Amerikan factory or study at an Amerikan school over the last 400 years.

Last, but certainly not least, we heard from a seemingly orthodox Jewish man, indeed he spewed the most vile hatred towards immigrants. Among other things this man said that there was nothing wrong with having to present proper identification to law enforcement officials if you appeared to be "illegal." He stated that this was a constitutionally protected right and just couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. (4) Ugh, what? Weren't the enactment of similar laws in Nazi Germany preludes to the forced display of Stars of David by Jewish people and eventually the dispersal of the Jewish peoples across Europe into concentration camps and genocide?

Days later at a candlelight vigil in support of immigrant rights, the reverend Al Sharpton addressed the Black nation, perhaps as an answer to Black people who might of been asking themselves and each other, as well as the Rev. Sharpton, why they should support immigrant rights and oppose SB1070. The Reverend answered, "… because at night, we all look Latino."

Notes:
(1) ABC 7 News, Los Angeles. 25 April 2010.
(2), (3), (4) Noticiero Telemundo 52. 3 May 2010.

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[Organizing] [Oklahoma] [ULK Issue 14]
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The situational ethics of snitching

An issue that was addressed in ULK that deserves a bit more comment is the involvement or non-involvement of so-called "snitches" or Special Needs Yard (SNY) prisoners in any political movement and/or prison reform activities.

The philosophy of the snitch is contradictory. I've been in prison for over 16 years. I have done time in three states and I have seen the hundreds of ways people have been labeled "snitches." For example, here in Oklahoma a prisoner is labeled a "snitch" if he files a grievance, even on obstruction of mail. It's seen as "snitching on staff." Prison administrators will utilize that to try and get other prisoners to ostracize a person and/or otherwise abuse, distrust or spread rumors about a person.

This is especially true when it comes to prison officials who harm or abuse prisoners. If you report the abuse, you're labeled a "snitch." Of course, when the shoe is on the other foot and a guard is harmed they run to the "snitches" for information. It's contradictory and it is also what is called "situational ethics."

Situational ethics is when a person uses a particular situation and action to justify their immediate needs, be they financial, safety, etc. If they do not like a person, for example, they'll label him a "snitch." But if they have a friend who has done the same deed they will justify his actions. It is purely situational.

The psychology of it all is baffling. But in the political sphere it has no place. As a prisoner in ULK no. 13 noted, violence on SNY is much, much less, and there is more unity on SNY. I can't attest to that myself because I've never been on a SNY, however, I do believe it to be true. I've heard that same story over and over about so-called "soft yards."

Information gathering is a valuable tactic in the political sphere as well. This is true whether it is the oppressed or oppressor. Information can be used to protect or harm. How you utilize your sources can be beneficial. If you know someone is a "snitch" or you have reasonable suspicions, then feeding that person false or beneficial information can help you and others. For example, if you know someone will run to the cops and report you then the information you tell them should only benefit, not harm you. They become an unwitting agent of good.

Lastly, prison reform will never come if you constantly look to others to motivate you. Just do what you have to do, and when you come across like-minded people - or even people who may not support your beliefs but support your efforts - you can add them to your album of associates.

MIM(Prisons) responds: What this comrade calls "situation ethics" we would also call "subjectivity." Like s/he said, subjectivity has no place in politics. We need to have a set of ethics that serve the most oppressed people in the world. We cannot let our criticism be swayed by whether we're cool with whoever did the action. This is true in all actions, not just sharing info with the pigs.

On the group or political level we define our ethics by our class perspective. It makes sense for the COs to both persecute snitches and utilize snitches depending on who they are snitching on, as this writer describes. Similarly, we want COs to expose other COs for abusing prisoners. In general, opposing snitching is progressive, because it is a source of conflict and repression as people are opportunistically spreading information to benefit themselves in the short-term. But to take an absolute moral stance on snitching ignores the fact that we need to expose the oppressor to the people.

The only point we disagree with this comrade on is that they say we should only control the information we share with known snitches or people we suspect to be snitches. We would push this one degree further and say that we should only share information on a need-to-know basis, and assume everyone is a possible informant. We went much more in depth on this topic in ULK 13.

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[Organizing] [ULK Issue 14]
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Reflections on organization, strategy, and unity

In order for us to succeed in any of our objectives and goals, we must have organization. This is an incontrovertible fact. We cannot even begin to visualize the thought of abolishing this injustice system (as it now exists), until we raise the level of consciousness of the masses of the people and obtain power. In order to obtain the power to destroy national oppression, exploitation and capitalist-imperialism, we must acquire the use of the weapon/instrument of organization.

"Such organization demands that we be conscious, skilled, disciplined and united in thought and action. It demands fundamental change in our thought and in our practice, it demands acquisition of a sense of confidence, a belief in our ability to struggle to win, to break the chains (physical and mental) and so on to build and control a new way of life for ourselves.

"Just as organization is the weapon/instrument that we must have in the struggle to obtain the power we need to effect revolutionary change, correct ideology/philosophy, theory and practice are required weapons/instruments we need in order to ensure effective organization. . .

"The chains that bind us are mental as well as physical. We cannot organize sleeping people around specific goals until awareness and understanding of the need to fight has been achieved, until the will to fight has been inspired, until the belief that we can win has been acquired.

"These mental/psychological chains obscure, mask and misdescribe the way the real world works. Incorrect philosophical approaches prevent awareness and understanding of real social, political and economic relations. Backward philosophy stifles the growth and development of genuine revolutionary consciousness, causes repeated confusion and frustration, apathy and disillusionment, conceals the need that we have to fight, dulls the will to fight, erodes our confidence and impedes effective organization for revolutionary national liberation struggle."(1)

We are oppressed together, let's stand up together

If we don't take the initiative to fight and struggle, how do we realistically expect people on the outside to go all out for us? There is a real war being waged against us and thus far our response to it collectively has been pitiful. In his seminal work The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon made mention of the natives' fear of the oppressor and that he strikes out against a fellow native instead of his real enemy, out of fear. Similarly, we are afraid of the pigs for fear of losing whatever, but will hurt each other at the drop of a hat.

So not only do we have to deal with the superiority complex of the racist correctional officer, we have to work with and struggle against the inferiority complex of the prisoners.

There are over 2.3 million men and wimmin in U.$. prisons and jails. Of those, 35,000 are in the state of misery (Missouri). What's really fucked up is that I know thousands of these men and wimmin and can't name 50 who are committed to the anti-imperialist struggle thru their actions and not just words.

However, one thing that you will see quickly are the great divisions amongst us on all levels and schools of thought - NOI, orthodox muslim, moors, kansas city, st. louis, northside, eastside, southside, westside, blood, crip, disciple, vicelord, bullshit, meaningless divisions. We are however, united in our pain, misery, suffering and oppression. We all get maced, denied parole, eat the same shitty food, go to the hole for the same bullshit violations and have to deal with the same overpaid, barely passed the GED-ass pigs!

For many years now, I've been labeled an "agitator" and "gang-leader" by the prisonkrats and have suffered much. But what they don't know is how many stabbings my comrades and I have stopped from occurring, how many staff assaults we've curtailed, and we're not looking for pats on the back.

It is said that if you are doing nothing but sitting on your ass, then you really have no right to complain about your oppression. Missouri and all prisoners stand up. You ain't gotta stand tall, but at least stand up! Unite and organize!!

Is violence correct?

During the course of my kkkaptivity I have experienced first-hand and witnessed many incidents of physical and psychological torture of many prisoners. I have seen with my own two eyes a couple of prisoners savagely murdered by sadistic corrections staff. I've heard of cases that make the abuses at Abu Ghraib child's play. Imagine being in a shower and having corrections staff throwing oranges at you until your brown body is battered and bruised. Saw it with my own eyes!

Conversely, from subscribing to and reading many of the prisoner newsletters that are in circulation, it has become patently clear that the physical and psychological terror and abuse in U.$. prisons is a part of the standard operating procedure for the imperialists and their repressive apparatus. They are not merely "isolated" incidents of abuse of power. The question is, how do we combat effectively this problem without exacerbating an already explosive, deadly situation and environment?

We do not, nor do the various prisoners' rights organizations, such as MIM(Prisons), promote the use of violence against corrections staff as the proper response to their inhumane treatment of us. Of course, we also understand the principle of self-defense. And it is a historical fact that violence has been necessary to end violence.

In the environment of the correctional facility, when a prisoner or group of prisoners, move with violence in response to ill treatment and abusive conditions, the prison administrators and politicians blame the victim (prisoners) and use whatever actions taken by us to further legitimize their repression, add more abusive laws to the books and to give these righteous souljaz additional time. We can't win this way no matter how righteous the act is when a no-good pig falls on something sharp. Imperialism is the enemy.(2)

Respect your supporters

While trying to build a support group and a united front against imperialism from behind electrified fences and stone walls, I have personally encountered a situation that must be seriously addressed amongst U.$. prisoners. Some years ago, I met a beautiful comrade and righteous sista in St. Louis who had just started a prisoners' rights magazine. Her husband was a political prisoner in Michigan so she understood our struggle well. This sista would respond to all letters sent to her, but all of a sudden brothaz lost discipline and started writing her pornographic (freak) letters - that shit wasn't cool. As a result of this, among other things, the sista directed that brothaz write to her husband (which is against some states' mail policies). In the end, the brothaz ran a righteous project off with some bullshit!

I hope that this is not a problem we have with a lot of you souljaz. Of course, we all want to have someone to share our most intimate thoughts with, but this was not the time nor place. In this struggle we have to be conscious as well as disciplined and show respect to those who support us, because they are few and far between. Our resources are few as individuals, but our numbers are great and we can contribute much to support those who support us. Unite and organize!

notes:
(1) "On Agitation, Education and Organization," Atiba Shanna, new African POW Journal, Book One, Spear and Shield publications
(2) To read more about peace in prison, get ULK issue 7

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[Organizing] [Prison Labor] [Texas] [ULK Issue 14]
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Our Unity vs. their Crisis

In today's prison society, prisoners are losing constitutional rights at an alarming rate under either the security rationale or the rehabilitation rationale. Yes, our United States Supreme Court has effectively shut the constitutional door on prisoners and individuals charged with crimes. A fair trial is now impossible as any misconduct by the prosecutor is considered "harmless error." Additionally, many individuals plead to charges they have not committed due to judicial extortion; "Take this five years or we're going to give you 99." It's all sad, but reflects the state of our society and country as a whole, and the corrosion of our criminal justice system.

In the newsletter, I read that many prisoner have begun food strikes; one wanting to commit suicide, the others want to sign a petition. The sad and unfortunate truth is, none of these work. Yet there is a way to be heard that is peaceful and has a dramatic effect.

Prisons are run by prisoners from laundry, food service, landscaping to maintenance of the institution. Additionally, many prisoners work in industries that manufacture anything from stop signs, chemicals to office furniture for the state and the prisons themselves. What if we were to just stop? Yes, stop supporting the imperial system that oppresses us at every level? Incarceration costs would rise exponentially overnight. Correctional officers would have to be hired to pick up where the inmate population left off. The cost of incarceration would be so great that states could not afford to incarcerate people en masse as they do today. Until the prison population itself makes a stand against the draconian justice and prison system, they will continue to lose the most basic and fundamental rights inherent to man.

My brothers and sisters, it is us, the prison population that runs and perpetuates the injustice of the justice and prison system and it is we who can peacefully break its back. The courts have failed us; the politicians have failed us; our country has failed us. Must we continue to fail ourselves? Must we continue to be dehumanized, degraded, mistreated and tortured so others may prosper and/or be entertained? It's time to see this realistically and stand together peacefully, to battle an unjust system as one. Martin Luther King once said, "The ultimate measure of a man [or woman] is not where he [or she] stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he [or she] stands in times of challenge and controversy." Are you a person of character who can stand as one or individually in the face of adversity? If we can't stand together as one then no matter what we do, we lose. Give some thought to this. All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We couldn't agree with this comrade more that there is no real justice to be had by the class system of imperialism. We don't expect petitions to solve the heart of the problem, though we may achieve partial victories. And we've already cautioned comrades that hunger strikes without outside pressure and support tend to be ultra-left tactics that can lead to sacrificing of lives.

But as we explain elsewhere, petition campaigns are two-pronged. One prong is to improve our ability to organize by fighting winnable battles, and the other prong is agitational to expose the state's repressiveness.

The facts behind this comrade's proposal are solid, as we discussed in ULK #8 on prison labor. And the argument is particularly strong as most state's are facing extreme financial shortages. They cannot afford to run their prisons if the labor aristocracy must do all the work.

However, in most cases, the level of unity does not exist to carry out this tactic effectively. Another comrade who proposed this same strategy simultaneously complains about this reality. Again, this is where more agitational work comes into play, like petitions, lawsuits and even small fund drives that some comrades have led. These things establish unity among people on the issues. With that unity, we can begin to talk about mass actions, such as boycotts.

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[Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Huntingdon] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 14]
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Fight the system: boycott work

Once again I find myself pushed in a corner with the swine in Huntingdon, PA. I've tried to get prisoners together and put in paperwork against these jokers, but many have no intent to do so. They'd rather bitch and complain and allow these chumps to keep doing what they do. But don't let another convict do or say something, or you might get stabbed or rocked with a lock in a sock. It's beyond my understanding and to be honest with you it makes me fucking sick! The prisoners would rather worry about the latest BET video or the stats of last night's NBA game. All the while, the administration is planning to take something else from us or plan on adding another provision to an already fucked up policy. What gives?

As I have said before, our cells are think tanks. We put our focus on shit that doesn't really mean shit. I'm not going to say take a guard hostage or stab a nurse. I'm saying to use our minds, stand as one, and do something rather than just talk about it. To really get their attention, hurt their pockets. Don't go to work. Do you realize that if everyone stopped working in the kitchen, they would have to figure out why, but more importantly they still must feed us? This would throw a red flag in the air. Stop going to work in the CI shops. Now, no clothes or soap is being made for the state.

I've given these ideas to many to think about. Then the new excuse is "I need my job cuz I don't have anyone sending me money." Ok, I understand. However, just say we as a whole stopped working, don't you think I wouldn't help a few soldiers out with enough to live off? I don't have shit but myself. Yet I have enough to get by and then some. I understand everyone's situation is very different, but in the same token, we are in the same situation, are we not?

All in all I'm plain ol' sick and tired of this chicken shit. Stand for what's yours. Would you allow someone to take something off you in the free world? So why allow it here? Everyone needs to get their shit together and realize this ain't a game. Sometimes I wish I was living in the era of the 60s and 70s. Back then convicts fought long and hard for theirs.

For those who are fighting strong, I'm with you! Even when I finally leave, I'll still help those inside.

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[National Oppression] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Solidarity in the fight against Arizona immigration law

First and foremost, I would like to salute all the comrades around the world that stood up and protested against Arizona's Jim Crow laws of segregation. Amerikkka's up to its dirty tricks once again. All was fine when they rode the backs of Latinos for cheap labor, but now that individuals are using their minds and starting their own small businesses, they (the U.S. or Arizona) want them out because they can't use (exploit) them any more. Never turn your back on a snake! Amerika was built upon corporate capitalism. If Latinos are all illegal then Christopher Columbus was illegal when he "came" to Amerikkka.

The Columbus anniversary is a celebration of mass murder, slavery, and conquest. He used religion and guns (after he was welcomed as a guest) against the Blacks and the indigenous in the Americas, mistakenly called Indians. All this was done in the name of white supremacy based upon the concept of "chosen people" and manifest destiny, and was designed to further cultural genocide and maintain mental slavery. Arizona is trying to put this back in full swing. They are capitalist parasites; blood-thirsty opportunists. People who would sell their own grandmother's burial plot. Amerikkka is a region of political injustice and great suffering. Columbus didn't discover shit, he came to America and exploited America with his illegal ass!!!

I'm a powerful Black conscious man, so I yell out Black Power and I fully support my Latino comrades in struggle and solidarity. And we demand justice or there will be no peace!

In struggle

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 14]
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Their goal is menticide


They thought that this would break me
They tried to tear me down
Confinement made my mind get stronger
You should hear me now
I wasn't hip to all their tricks
They had me stuck before
I had to grow but now I know just what it's hitting for
Their mission is divide and conquer
Their goal is menticide
We must protect our minds from them
Don't let them get inside
Cus if they do
then they'll use you to do the dirty work
Unconsciously they'll make you be the bringer of the hurt
Unity's ingredients are power, strength and love
And if we come together we will surely rise above
Divided, we are midgets with no hope to ever rise
But together we're a giant who can choke them till they die.

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[Organizing] [Legal] [Campaigns] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Address Our Grievances! Campaign Spreads

In Under Lock & Key issue 13, we published an article announcing a campaign about the improper handling of grievances by prison staff. Below is an update from the California comrade who originally turned us on to the campaign.

I initially mailed out my own petition to the CDCR Director Level back in Nov./Dec. of '09 as part of the first wave of petitions. This was done under the auspice of its originator. However some time after the first wave went out, the persyn who devised this plan was subsequently taken to the hole. It was rumored that it was exactly because of this persyn's legal maneuvering that he was sent to the hole. Anyway, back in January '10 I received a response. As it turns out, these petitions were never investigated or even looked into as we requested. The Appeals Coordinator at the Director Level simply re-routed my petition back to the Warden's office here at this institution, at which time the warden here implied that the appeals which I had pending were screened back to me because I basically failed to comply with inmate appeal regulations. This is of course total bullshit! The "W." pretty much just issued me a de facto "695 Screen Out Form" without ever really looking into the matter, thereby sweeping the matter back under the rug.

I then decided that someone needed to step up to the plate and pick up where this petition's originator left off. I began by tracking down as many people as I could find who'd participate in the legal action. I tracked down about eighteen people, of which only three others besides myself received responses. As it turned out, we all got the same document with seemingly no other action taken.

I then proceeded to make as many copies of the original petition as I could obtain. I was only able to make 20. Of these 20 I only had twelve more people agree to mail the petitions out. As of today nobody's received any responses.

I contacted the Ca. Prison Law Office, useless. The Ombudsman, useless, no response, and a few other organizations claiming to offer inmates assistance (Critical Resistance? critically useless). I didn't bother with Internal Affairs or the Inspector General as they are both connected to CDCR and seemingly cover their asses. The DOJ is a different story. However, they will only take action if it can be proven that civil rights abuses are taking place en masse. Since only four of us received responses, the DOJ will not take action.

So it hasn't turned out as we hoped [with an investigation into the failed CDCR grievance system]. I suppose it wasn't a total failure, though, as we have proved yet again that the inmate appeals procedure in the Ca. Dept. of Corruption is nothing but an obstacle placed in front of prisoners' path to the U.$. judicial system.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's initiative to pick up a worthwhile project, after state repression stopped the original leader, is commendable. Others who have this kind of initiative should be working with the United Struggle from Within, the MIM(Prisons)-led anti-imperialist prisoner organization. Comrades have been working diligently to expand the scope of the campaign and we now have petitions prepared for CA, MO, OK and TX. If you are filing grievances about any issue and they aren't being handled properly by staff, consider becoming a part of this campaign and spread it to your people inside.

This comrade's analysis of the success of the campaign is completely accurate. We can hope for an investigation into the corrupt grievance system, but if it doesn't happen, then we have instead successfully exposed yet another flaw in the Amerikkkan "justice" system. It is important to not give up even if we feel like nothing will happen because these exposures are agitational points that we can rally people around. Also, like this comrade pointed out, if we send in enough petitions to the DOJ s/he believes that they may respond. So continue to send in your grievance petitions and get with MIM(Prisons) to get involved!

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[National Oppression] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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No access to law library in High Desert

I'm writing in regards to a letter I had read asking for us prisoners to provide art in order to convey the message of injustice in prison. As you know in prison there are many unjust actions that occur on a daily basis so there is a lot to draw on. However, one of the many recent hardships brought upon us Mexicans (specifically northerners) is a mass validation sweep in High Desert State Prison on 8/4/09. 58 northern hispanics were taken off the mainline without due process and stuck in Ad-Seg (Z unit). Now we are all diligently striving to appeal these false fabricated lies on our people but administration has found a new way to hinder our progress by preventing us ample time to go to the law library, making it difficult to get Title 15s, make copies, etc.

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[Organizing] [New York] [ULK Issue 14]
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Comrades, educate & support each other!

At 19, I've become equally conscious of the circumstances we must face as well as the necessary struggle we must wage in order to remedy these maladies which has infected us as a people mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally and financially. Not to say that I have mastered Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, but I have grasped firmly the concept of socialist-communist revolution to an acceptable degree.

To summarize, the question at hand is basically, "What strategy and tactics can ULK employ to become a better tool at correctly propagandizing the masses, particularly the prison population, organizing us into a revolutionary impetus which can successfully seize its liberation, justice and equality?" Before I voice my opinions let me state, matter of factly, that all recipients of ULK are equally responsible for the progress as well as its shortcomings. For no force is greater than that of the people. Therefore we, the people, are more than obligated to ensure that ULK plays a productive role in our revolution. If we fail to contribute, we are as counter-revolutionary as the reactionary monsters who daily oppress us all.

I think in order to educate and be educated by each other, we must combine theory with practice as well as embrace "criticism and self-criticism." We must refrain from using speech which can be taken offensively for this may cause dissension, and out of emotion some may shun the message we intend to give. This is counter-productive. Instead of just denouncing our "criminal" actions, let us acknowledge the fact that in some form or degree, even if subconsciously, we have resisted this nefarious system and its institutions. Let us acknowledge that, unfortunately, through experience, we've now gained first-hand knowledge of the repressive conditions we live under. We are the lumpen, we are the most exploited. [MIM(Prisons) Editor: The lumpen, by definition, are not an exploited class, though some prisoners and black market laborers face economic exploitation. The lumpen are the excess people, thrown off by capitalism. In the united $tates the lumpen are one of the most oppressed groups.] Now, through political education, we must learn to combine our individual struggles into one struggle of the people and for the people.

We must discuss piece-meal the written works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung, Frantz Fanon and others. We must learn the history of other peoples and study all rebellions, revolts and revolutions in detail, from feudalist society to our present society. This will impress upon us our historical role of resistance, raising our consciousness as we embody the spirit of true revolutionaries. This will also show how we've undergone the transformation from the family-oriented, ethical man to the selfish, barbaric, sub-human savages we've become; competing against, or at extremes, injuring, raping, and murdering our kith and kin for riches and social status which can never satisfy our vegetating, ever ungovernable greed.

We must teach how racism, sexism and religion have each played their part in forming the basis of these exploiting class systems, keeping the masses divided. Also how the media and schools have kept us ignorant, replacing our need for knowledge and truth with fabricated tales of European heroes and Amerikkkan humanitarianism.

Fidel Castro said that the duty of the revolutionary is to make the revolution. We cannot ignore the fact that the only way to overthrow the capitalist-imperialist elite and their government is through armed struggle. Therefore we should still encourage our education in warfares, even though MIM opposes the use of armed struggle at this time. In Mao's Little Red Book (quotations), he states:

"War, this monster of mutual slaughter among men, will be finally eliminated by the progress of human society, and in the not too distant future too. But there is only one way to eliminate it and that is to oppose war with war, to oppose counter-revolutionary war with revolutionary war, to oppose national counter-revolutionary war with national revolutionary war, and to oppose counter-revolutionary class war with revolutionary class war. . . When society advances to the point where classes and states are eliminated, there will be no more wars, counter-revolutionary or revolutionary, unjust or just; that will be the era of perpetual peace for mankind. Our study of the laws of revolutionary war springs from the desire to eliminate all wars; herein lies the distinction between us communists and all the exploiting classes."

We do not want war, we want peace. But to eliminate war we must wage war. "Political power grows out from the barrel of the gun." This is a truth we must accept.

We must encourage a vigorous struggle for prison reform. We must expose the injustices, the curtailed food rations, and all the other foul living conditions of these DOC concentration camps. We must recognize the word "individual" as a metonym for "divided", understanding that never is one person ever alone in any particular struggle. Therefore all grievable issues should be grieved en masse showing that the power of the people is an unyielding power, perceptual no matter how much it is caged and bound. We must advise all prisoners of their constitutional rights, what they mean, and how to fight for them if violated. We must encourage prisoners to form unions or law study groups within their facilities so that we become literate of legal terms and parlance, etc. We must encourage the fight against legal misrepresentation, illegal sentencing, and prejudicial convictions. We are the bearers of our own freedom.

We must encourage all prisoners to reach out and educate their peers, family, and friends, etc. It is imperative that our support system comes from the outside as well as the inside. Also that those who may be "freed" in the near future continue our struggle. This last issue is very important: prisoners without financial means should not have to be exempt from the Maoist study cell just because they're unable to pay the $5 membership fee. So I ask all brothers and sisters to come together and donate money so that all our comrades can participate. It is their revolution just as much as it is ours!

Power to the people who don't fear freedom!

Free all political prisoners!

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[National Oppression] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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False gang validations to repress Latinos

I am writing to you to seek advice, assistance or referral on how to get word out about biased racial profiling, mass validation, and their failure to follow their own policies and laws. Now let me just give a quick run down on what is going on here at High Desert State Prison (HDSP). In August 2009, the California Department of Corrections' goon squad, Institutional Gang Investigators, took all personal property from all "northern Hispanic" inmates on C-facility and at this time removed between 40 to 50 "northern Hispanics" from the mainline and validated us as prison gang members. Several inmates were placed on potty watch. (This is where inmates are placed in a diaper taped up and handcuffed 24 hours a day and forced to use a plastic bag to relieve themselves.) The inmates were eventually validated as gang members and are retained in ASU and we are not being transferred to appropriate prisons. Most of the points used against us were either made up or do not meet guidelines of the law to validate us. There are a lot of violations of federal and state laws going on here but I'm going to keep this brief.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The U.$. imperialists have divided the Chicano Nation (and Latinos in general) in California by drawing a line across the middle of the state and labeling those who grew up north of that line "northern Hispanics." They call the "northerners" and "southerners" gangs worthy of repression, yet countless comrades have been forced into these groups by the CDCR themselves. Early in the process, they assigned certain prisons and units to "northerners" and others to "southerners." Then when they want to lock up all the Latinos they can do so and say they are dealing with a "gang."

It is an absolute joke that this thinly veiled form of national oppression passes as legal in a bourgeois democracy. Of course, there are neo-colonial agents that have played into these divisions from the beginning. Just as the Amerikans divided Korea and Vietnam between north and south by setting up puppet leaderships, they have done the same in U.$.-occupied Aztlán. This is why the demand for the unification of oppressed nations and their territories is an inherently anti-imperialist demand.

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [Potosi Correctional Center] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 14]
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CO undermines hunger strike, causes death

On March 6, James McKinney died at Potosi Correctional Center. In the Washington County paper it said natural causes (heart attack). Now for the real story. James McKinney was in solitary confinement with me. So I'm giving you a first person account of the events that I believe led to this man's death. In early or mid-February McKinney was assigned to cell 2C-20 for a minor infraction. His first couple of days there he ran afoul of COI Shannon Clubbs (as many prisoners do). COI Clubbs harassed and verbally abused McKinney daily. In protest of this ill treatment James McKinney declared a hunger strike. He also sent a letter of protest to Senator Robin Wright-Jones.

When you have missed a certain amount of meals, you are automatically referred to medical personnel for a physical. Two times when he was approaching this certain amount of missed meals COI Clubbs opened McKinney's food port and threw a noon-time meal in his cell. He then logged as if McKinney accepted a meal, effectively rescinding the food strike. The second time Clubbs did this McKinney screamed on the walk that Clubbs was setting him up, Clubbs was laughing and taunting him the whole time. To add insult to injury, he also gave McKinney a conduct violation for accepting a food tray and then not returning it when the meal was over. This is a common and favorite tactic of confinement COIs. We (all the prisoners) did kick and holler for assistance from other COIs to no avail, so when McKinney finally saw medical, he was in worse shape than they thought, because he had missed triple the meals as the files indicated because of Clubbs manipulating the files, but no one would listen to him or us. He wrote a letter to Senator Robin Wright-Jones explaining the harassment by PCC staff in general and COI Clubbs in particular. I'm not sure how long it was, but it was well past 2 weeks, maybe 3 before he was convinced to eat, the first couple of days in March early in the morning he was complaining about chest and he went to medical as a self-declared patient - 3 or 4 days later he was dead.

I'm not a doctor and I don't know anything about his health or lack of health, but he wasn't overweight, looked to be in good shape, a quiet respectful brother. I asked him a couple of times if he was cool and he said he had things under control. I tried to rally everyone to form a peaceful protest, but these passive-assed conformed-as-slaves won't put up any type of resistance. My focus is COI Clubbs. Me and a couple of comrades wrote letters to Senator Robin Wright-Jones, State Rep Linda Fischer, Lisa Jones of constituent services. I have several copies of complaints on COI Clubbs in the last 6 or 7 months, about his abuse, harassment.

I just don't know what to do next. I am not afraid of them so educate me and tool me up and I'll stay on their asses here. Several convicts have won suits against them over the years. They pay but never change their repressive policies.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We print this article to continue our discussion about which strategies and tactics are available and useful to us in our struggles to end oppression worldwide. We need to analyze our options with a realistic and material perspective, and with that we need to measure their limitations. One lesson we can learn from this prisoner's tragic death is that hunger strikes by individuals are vulnerable to manipulation by COs and administration. As we explained to another comrade in ULK 13, a protest needs to be well-planned and considered from all angles. The more we can learn about the limitations of our tactics, the better equipped we will be to use them effectively.

Another error we would point out is the assertion that COI Clubbs is a problem separate from the repression of the imperialist system. We think it is important to bring attention to this abuse, and to name names for accountability's sake. But focusing all energy on getting COI Clubbs fired doesn't impact imperialism in general. In fact, it does the opposite by reinforcing the idea that the system is good; that the problem is just a few "bad apples" who can be dealt with on an individual level. In our agitational work, it is important to be clear about what the true problem is and the correct strategy to address that problem.

The fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of prison staff with similar accusations against them demonstrate that firing one guard does not usually improve the conditions of prisoners at a particular facility. In other words, getting Clubbs fired doesn't ensure that the next guy that goes on hunger strike won't face the same fate. However, developing strategy among prisoners who are facing these conditions and building outside support will help avoid such tragedies and make comrades' lives last longer and be more effective in their resistance.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Locked Up


My, how all this time has changed my ways of thinking and viewing things.
Some time ago I saw airplanes, but never the skies that held the planes.
Subjectively going with the way things flowed,
I objected to progression and all things not known.

Now I'm more developed and the picture's much more clear.
You can see the way I conduct myself, knowledge resides right here.
I calculate my steps, making sure I recognize
the man who watches his speech and acts is truly the man who's wise.

No longer a child, I think for myself.
When without the answers I ask for help.
Aside with my pride, no ego to rise,
I'm eager to better myself from inside.

Gone are the days where anger controls,
Deciding my future and all that it holds.
This for I know as my past is a ghost.
Life is the party, and I am the host!!

(RC)= These materials are Revolutionary Copywritten. The copying, using, re-publishing of such material for anything other than the anti-imperialist/anti-capitalist movement is a crime punishable by the people.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Us vs. Them


Children colored by a different sun,
then 500 yrs under the gun.
Hystorically speaking,
we are all the same.
If you will use your mind,
then you will find,
that our hystories are intertwined.
We've all been enslaved,
and we've all been colonized.
We've all been exploited.
Are we not still slaves
to their relations of production?
Are our peoples still not exploited
for their class consumption?
Hystorically speaking,
from a materialist viewpoint,
we are all the same.
So, Brown and Black
we must all attack,
the division amongst the masses
so there can be
no division amongst the masses
only two classes.
Us vs. them.

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[Theory] [National Oppression] [Utah] [ULK Issue 14]
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Trading hot dogs for freedom

amerikan hot dog

While reading MIM Theory 11: Amerikkkan Prisons on Trial about how all United $nakes prisoners are political prisoners, and most all of these are oppressed nations, it made me question if maybe these statistics differ much in the state of Utah?

The Utah population is mostly white, so much so that over half of us convicts in these chambers are white. This statistic must really be an anomaly in the overall U.$. percentage rate of those incarcerated. Of course it's poor whites who can't afford lawyers who are caged here. But what saddens me to my very soul is seeing these whites running around with swastikas saying they love Amerikkka. Saying it's not the unjust in-justice system that targeted them for slavery but it was because they chose this path, they chose not to work and slang drugs. Did they choose too to have their fathers and uncles institutionalized, I ask? Where was your father growing up, where was your dad when you were starting to buck the system that you supposedly love so well? Not in prison? So your son is now destined for the very same fate as you and your father...and you love this system?!

We were served hot dogs for the fourth of July and these people, my peers, were happy. Yelling out on the tier, "Happy fourth of July." I screamed back, "Fuck Amerika!" If we wasn't all in solitary, the looks on their faces would of made the Mona Lisa frown. The audacity of this Communist to say "fuck Amerika." We got hot dogs and fireworks, they say, we have it much better than prisoners elsewhere.

Is this what we've come to now? Even though our families are ripped apart, severed from each other like so many heads from chickens. Now it's our fate to run around headless, knowledge-less, happy that our captors (with swastikas too under sleeves and on hearts) feed us a damn hot dog!

As a child I remember visiting my father here at the Draper prison and even then I felt anger at him and a sort of disgust. Isn't that how they feel on T.V. about criminals? Isn't that how I should feel, too? Well I did. I hated him. His very own son. And why? Because that's what I was "taught" to do. I was mind-fucked into hating my very own father the same way these lumpen racists are mind-fucked into loving a country that takes everything from you but a damn hot dog.

Now I'm the one that's hated when mail call or visiting comes around, ("Whats wrong with you?" looks hidden behind what could have been smiles). I see my nephew's face and the hostility there masked, just barely, and I want to grab the little guy and tell him, whisper, don't listen to them man! Little buddy wake up! Wake up! But visiting is over and mother and grandmother won't allow any of that "revolution" talk in front of the child, let alone any truth in letters. Return to sender. Return to ignorance. Is this how you felt, pops, at our visits? Was that why you looked at me that way? Was it pleading? As you sit in "population" or "Lone Peak work release" and I struggle here in solitary supermax, my brother in county jail, uncles and aunts in CUCF, I understand now. But it took me twenty seven years to do so, twenty seven years of self-hate, suicidal thoughts, homicidal anger, clouds of drug smoke and alcohol fog.

All I ask you sick, demented, money hungry, cold, imperialist nation is one hour. You and me alone in a dark alley. Put down that fascist oppressive stick and take off that bullshit white power mask. We'll see who is the better man. Even with my malnourished body and soul, you'd be the one on the cold concrete, Uncle Sam. You'd be the one eating garbage, unable to get up. Every fiber of my being is now tied up with the Maoist Internationalist Movement. I, or my son, or my son's son will take up the gun beside the people when revolution calls. It's not going to stop until we stop it.

Most of the time we don't even realize anything's going on. Hell, how could we when we have hot dogs?! We must find a way to wake everybody up to what's happening. It's up to us, the youth of today's generation, to figure out how best to halt the ignorance, to wake them up! The old to teach the new and the new to redo or reinvent strategy, reinvent new agitations, new minds who maintain the same line and disciplines but with a spin on dissemination, essays, and politics.

Of course the world knows what time it is but in order for our part of the revolution to have enough strength, enough firepower and muscle to take down the bourgeoisie, we need all hands on deck. We can't be having our own family and peers wearing the wrong colors and waving the wrong flag. In my eyes those who won't listen to the truth, who won't take their eyes off the Seinfeld reruns, family included, those are the ones who will first trip up the movement. They'll give the pigs the momentum to take us down. Personally I'm in prison because a family member called the kops. The more I'm learning, the more I understand the underground status, and believe it applies universally. And that's what makes it difficult to lead by example or spread the word. This contradiction is an important one and I think the answer or solution is right here in us, in the youth. We just have to realize this.

I send strength to all comrades worldwide. As one!


{Saved by the bell

we are made this way,
then punished for being this way!
be afraid motherfuckers
its back to school today.}

MIM(Prisons) adds: Yes, Utah is an anomaly. The Black nation makes up half of the U.$. prison population, while representing about 12% of the overall population. And that is one legacy of the material basis for building socialism among Blacks and not whites. We should try to ally with all who can be allied with, but as we see Amerikans "waking up" they are too often turning to fascism.

Actually, this is a good test case for the "re-proletarianization" of the United $tates. Some argue that we must organize Amerikans now in a mass movement for socialism because as imperialist crisis advances they will become proletarian again. First of all, Amerikans have never been a proletarian nation. They began as an oppressor nation over the indigenous people of the Americas, followed soon after by African slaves and countless other peoples throughout history.

Utah prisons are an interesting example because we actually have a majority white population losing their economic privilege as well as facing extreme repression. And technically, a portion of them are even being economically exploited. An economic collapse in the u$ will not suddenly cause a boom in industry, so a lumpenization is a more accurate description of what will occur than a proletarianization. In this sense, the Utah case study parallels the hypothetical future Amerika pretty well.

So, what is the result? A minority of whites, like our comrade here, will become radicalized towards finding solutions to the inherent contradictions in the system. The majority of whites will cling to their heritage and wave Amerikan flags and scream white power.

All U.$. citizens are criminals—accomplices and accessories to the crimes of U.$. oppression globally until the day u$ imperialism is overcome. All U.$. citizens should start from the point of view that they are reforming criminals. Comrades like the writer are already well on their way to becoming contributors to a brighter future for humynity.

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[Spanish] [Organizing] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Inspirado por Mao, enfrentando batallas legales

Escrito por un preso en el estado de California

Yo estaba leyendo ULK 10 de nuevo cuando encontré el artículo "El combate liberalismo de Mao muy pertinente en prisiones de PA." Ese artículo fue escrito por un prisionero y se refirió a ULK número 5 del mes de noviembre en el año 2008. Con respeto este artículo puedo decir de toda corazón que compadezco completamente con el autor, porque yo mísmo y unos otros aquí en el Centro Correccional conocido como Richard J. Donovan (RJDCF) en San Diego, California aguantamos el mísmo tipo de chingaderos.

Yo estaba puesto injustamente en la Segregación Administrativa de RJDCF por casi 18 meses por culpa de otro prisionero quien me acusó del intento de extorcionarle la mercancía de la tienda aunque yo no lo hice. Aquí, he visto exactamente como la mayoría de los prisioneros se dan las espaldas para no pelear contra la corrupción desenfrenada y opresión por parte de los puercos porque en el momento no les afecta a ellos. Pero cuando las cosas cambian, y la corrupción les toca, ellos de repente empiezan gritar, y exigen la unidad de todos.

Para mi, las personas que evitan combatir contra la corrupción cuando les conviene son iguales que los puercos. Es muy patético como ellos solo son preocupados con si mismos. Yo al contrario, por los últimos 16 meses he estado peleando uña y diente contra todos los actos corruptos y opresivos de los puercos. Aunque soy lo que se llama SNY (Yarda de Requisitos Delicados) conocido también como Custodia Protectora, peleo por los derechos de todos los prisioneros sin importar sus afiliaciones, sean SNY o activos de la yarda principal. He hecho bastante apelaciones y he presentado unas cuantas demandas en las cortes. Hago esto aunque todo regresa para perturbarme en la manera de retaliación por los puercos en autoridad. Pero para citar una expresión común de la famosa película Gone With the Wind en inglés o Perdido en el viento, "Francamente querida, me importa un comino."

Creo que no hay más que las autoridades puedan hacer para castigarme o hacer mi vida más miserable. ¿Cómo pueden hacerlo? He sido asignado a la segregación administrativa por 18 meses por asuntos no sancionados porque se acaba de descubrir que yo realmente no extorcioné nada de nadie, sin embargo me mantienen aquí por 18 meses por "preocupaciones de enemigos." He estado esperando un traslado no adverso por la mayoría de los 18 meses, por 16 meses más o menos. Los puercos que son más corruptos que nunca siguen andando por aquí como si fueran casi invencibles . Me dan porciones escasas de comida, friegan con la comida y el correo, e intentan callarme con mentiras. Constantemente estas autoridades intentan crear odio y hostilidad entre mi y los otros prisioneros. Pero hasta ahorita yo he tenido la ultima risa. Los prisioneros saben que yo les apoyo y peleo por sus derechos. Ellos entonces no les hacen caso a los puercos. Los prisioneros me brindan su apoyo aunque no todos pelean por si mismos. Además he ganado casi todas mis apelaciones, y las cortes están fijandos en estos asuntos. Por eso, yo no me les arrodillaré jamás a estos puercos sadicos masoquistas y sus metodos de opresión. Aunque sea dificil pelear contra estas fuerzas, a mí nada ni nadie me van a detener.

Estos puercos hacen tan buen trabajo en tenernos peleando entre nosotros mismos. Pero aun hay unos de nosotros que sin tener en cuenta su propia estatus custodial, SNY, yarda principal, raza, religión, crimenes, etcétera, quieren dar tanto para tras, sino más, de lo que nos dan.

Como ya he dicho, represento el SNY. Yo veo presos activos de la yarda principal peleandose entre ellos mismos. Estos conflictos ridículos contribuyen a su propia opresión y facilita el trabajo de los puercos. La yarda principal considera a los presos SNY como si todos ellos fueran lo más bajo como abusadores y asesinos de niños/as. Y aun hay más unidad en el lado SNY de la cerca. Nosotros ponemos la politica prisionera tonta a un lado. Para mi, es la cosa madura que hacer. Los presos le hacen favores a los puercos con pelearse entre ellos mismos. Y los que no pelean entre ellos mismos les besan el culo a los puercos para recibir favores como drogas, teléfonos celulares, y otras tonterías. Pero cuando algo sucede, estos mismos presos colaboradores exigen unidad que ellos mismos no demuestran. Antes, yo era igual a ellos pero he cambiado. Hasta ahora les ayudo a esas personas porque esta acción todavía es pelear la batalla buena. Conozco unos cuantos que harían lo mismo pero son muy pocos.

Prisión sería un lugar mejor si la gente parara de oprimirse a si mismos o a los otros, encima de la opresión de los puercos. Tenemos que dejar las tonterías para trás por una vez en nuestras vidas. Dejar al lado el racismo, el odio entre SNY y yarda principal, las actitudes egoístas, la mentalidad de "todo yo." Necesitamos madurarnos ya chingado. Unifiquense y peleen contra la opresión, contra los puercos, peleen por sus derechos verdaderos. Si no lo hacen, no son nada más que esclavos, títeres, putas. No estoy abogando violencia contra los puercos. Prefiero que lo hagan educandose ustedes mismos, apropriadamente, no con las pendejadas que estas autoridades quieren que aprendan. Historia auténtica, politica genuina, realidad cierta, si existe.

Nos enseñaron en las escuelas americanas que el comunismo es un terrible modo de vivir. Cuando las personas que eran comunistas difaman el comunismo es solo porque uno de ellos, normalmente exiliados u otros que fueron castigados, huyeron de la responsabilidad, entonces ellos lo calumnian. Y aun he conocido muchos otros que tienen puras cosas buenas que decir sobre el comunismo. La gente nunca será verdaderamente 100% felices. No todos. Pero la mayoría puede estar bien. Hasta el mismo Mao reconocía sus errores. Si la gente aprende de los errores, estaría estupendo. Demuestra madurez y responsabilidad. Si no, son unos tontos, así de fácil. Nuestros errores son muchos. Rápidamente hemos aceptados un cierto modo de vivir. Fijensen a donde eso nos ha llevado. Nuestra rehabilitación en la prisión es una broma. No estamos rehabilitados, estamos segregados. Y es porque lo hemos permitido cuando lo aceptamos como si fuera la manera genuina. Pero no es así. Despiertense. Fijense entre las líneas. Estamos miserables porque lo hemos permitido.

Unifiquense. Echen la mierda para trás en la basura. Eduquense. Parense en sus propios dos pies y peleen en la batalla verdadera.

MIM(Prisiones) agrega: El movimiento prisionero al fin de los 60s y el comienzo de los 70s fue fuerte gracias a la unidad de acción alrededor de temas que afectaban a todos los presos. Necesitamos implementar ese tipo de estrategia y no solo concentrarnos en el individuo como este camarada reitera. Está en líderes de ir al frente y dirigir en su enfoque pero ha cambiado. Entre más líderes vayan al frente, más gente cambiará y verán unidad en acción como una realidad.

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[Organizing] [California State Prison, Los Angeles County] [California] [ULK Issue 14]
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Unity works to combat unreasonable regs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 14]
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Pigs bribe prisoners to snitch

Reading ULK 9, I see the same struggles are at the somewhat same level. Some worse than others. The same tactics these pigs use everywhere. I use the term pig freely because there are prisoner pigs also. Those who deem themselves righteous only to stab you in the back and work with the pigs here in Hughes Unit.

For a time these ranking officers were using what they called a snitch box. This box contained soups, chips, pouches of chili, radios, and hot pots. Word spread around that these items could be yours if the information was useful. The more valuable, the more you got. Then people who never make store started having radios, hot pots, commissary. These pigs sold their souls for more petty shit. This tactic has been used in wars. Those in need were kept away from what's theirs, but given to those who work with the government.

I'm in Administrative Segregation. These people claim that I'm a confirmed member of a Security Threat Group. I won't admit to it and I won't sign up for a program for something I'm not a part of. So here I am. Been here since 2005. This time here I've come to learn about myself and start to take different approaches in everything. These people hate to see smart people use their own system against them. I'm still trying to learn and grow more. What you all send me in this ULK gives me an extra push. So thank you comrades!

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[Organizing] [Education] [ULK Issue 14]
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Education: Still Much Work to be Done

I read ULK 9 and enjoyed the attention given to education in this issue. The political education of the lumpen should be central to the revolutionary movement of north amerika. There are three pillars in any true revolutionary process: organization, politicization, and mobilization of the masses. In other words, theory before practice and unity before everything else. I am in my fourteenth year of incarceration on a life sentence. I came in at the age of 18 and I have observed the forging of lumpen alliances for a number of various reasons over the years. Very rare is it to find a lumpen organization (LO) with a sound political line and/or agenda, and even more rare is it to find an LO of such a professed platform that actually practices what they pretend to preach. I am also a representative of the ALKQN and so I write from the same side of the battle lines as the rest.

It should go without saying that a movement absent foundational theory is bound to fail, but the truth is these things need to be said, explained, understood, and accepted. One of the primary and principle things that we, as individual and collective members of today's LOs have to establish is the question of political theory and exactly what kind of society we aspire to affect. The Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons is aiding us in this way, yet there is much more political work to be done amongst ourselves. The ability to define the difference between capitalism and socialism is fundamental to our level of education. But so is the realization that we, in general, as the lumpen proletariat, referred to by Marx as the 'underclass,' have the task of eradicating the remnants of the former (that are so deeply planted in our subconscious that we more often than not fail to even realize or acknowledge) before we can truly even hope to successfully set out to establish the latter. Sufficient political work needs to be undertaken in the goal to raise collective political consciousness. Classes are essential to such a program. We need the demand for unity on every corner, and the serious dedicated attempts to effectively study and debate the materials we are afforded by such groups as MIM(Prisons).

Some of our respective LOs have histories that stretch back into the 1940s. Many of our LOs have revolutionary grassroot origins. There are those of us who realize this and who are struggling to re-align ourselves, and those around us, with the spirit of those beginnings. But it is a mistake and an unseen obstacle in our failing to analyze, consider, and take into account the opportunism so many of our leaders began to shroud themselves with at the beheading of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. This opportunistic spirit is what helped magnify the influx of both the drug and "gang-banging" culture we so readily embraced throughout the late 70s and all the way into the early 90s. It also resulted in the influx of brothers and sisters who were met with open arms, and empty heads. That era, for the most part, was declared a victory by the federal government. Our communities were war-torn, drug and crime infested, and the U.$. prison industrial complex was impregnated with more bodies of color than any other place in the world. And a new era began, the era of programming.

All these things need to be taught. If we are to become serious and elemental in the fights against imperialism we must come to accept ourselves, the lumpen, first as a product and consequence of capitalist society, and then, as the spear-head of the revolution - a true socialist revolution, for ourselves, and for the people of the Third World.

Every one of us has a responsibility and an obligation to the true meaning of our respective LO to manifest it in our every breath, action and thought. The label must become second to the representation. For in the end there can be no division nor dividing factors in the United Front. As revolutionaries, we are perpetual teachers. We must teach ourselves and each other, and in some cases even our very own leadership. A plunge in morale is a result of our own fears and failures to teach. As revolutionaries it is up to ourselves not to become discouraged or weary, and it is up to ourselves to muster the physical, moral, and intellectual effort it takes to dare others to learn and to teach. In the words of Nelson Mandela, "Much work remains to be done among us all to raise the level of political consciousness so that every cadre, however high the position they may occupy, is schooled in the policies of our movement, its character, its strategy and tactics."

Education/political consciousness is key; unity in that line is the lock; the safe is the imperialist/capitalist mindframe that must be cracked; and the new man or woman, the turning wheel of change, the revolutionary, is the hidden treasure within.

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