Under Lock & Key Issue 15 - July 2010

Under Lock & Key

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? help out
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Utah] [ULK Issue 15]
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Catacomb Reversal

Unwashed bodies
mortal stink
scrunches your piggy nose
to your moral wreak
you do not smell
anymore than our torture
you do not feel
anymore than they tell you
bloody bodies
necks twisted from nooses
carted off like junk
our chests blown out
our backs
by four all-amerikkkan chumps
you must hurry and get away
pass out pills then scurry away
cringe and laugh
be disgusted
it's not your mind and body
lying here busted
we suffer because of you
cursed U.$.
not in spite of you
and these racist tests
worsen worsen
extend and crumble
lay down in your fucking grave imperialism
lie down beast
stumble, sputter and mumble

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[Organizing] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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All eyes on Us for Black August

From behind California State Prison enemy lines - from within the Belly of the Beast that is the Amerikan Injustice System - I greet you! I call to your attention the annual commemoration of Black August and invite you - prisoners and your families - throughout Amerika - to join in honoring our beloved martyrs with fasting, study, sharing Panther Love and knowledge of our history of struggle against oppression and for justice, and renewal of commitment to struggle for a brighter future for humanity. In particular, Black August 2010 commemorates the martyrdom of our brothers Sean Bell and Gus Rugley, and our comrades Hasan Shakur, NABPP-PC Minister of Human Rights, Jonathan Jackson, and Comrade George Jackson, Field Marshall of the Black Panther Party Prison Chapter.

We must also remember January 1, 2009 police handcuffed Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Black man, and forced him face-down on the platform of a rapid transit station in Oakland, California. Then one cop shot Oscar Grant in the back, killing him. This cold-blooded murder was caught on cell phone videos and seen by millions. People in Oakland immediately took to the streets in righteous protest. The case has become a flashpoint of struggle in supposedly "post-racial" Amerika and protests have continued. Revolutionaries have been uniting with the efforts of people from a broad spectrum of political beliefs to say This Must Stop, and bringing revolution and communism to the people.

Yes my sisters and brothers,

We shed tears for our fallen brothers and sisters as well as the many children - who have been killed by the oppressors in this land of our exile and enslavement. We have a right to cry over our dead - for every life is precious beyond measure - the loss of each is intolerable. We consecrate this month so that those who have been taken from us will never be forgotten - nor the love of liberty which their lives stood for.

Our grief is real and so is our determination to continue the struggle until all are free and oppression is no more. Our pain makes us stronger and more human. Our determination makes our people struggle. We must get up and stand up as one - a united people - and prepare for revolutionary change in the 21st Century.

To clear our minds, I propose that we eat only one meal a day throughout the month of August, and fast completely on August 7th - in honor of Jonathan Jackson - on August 21st - in honor of George Jackson - and on August 31st - in honor of Hasan Shakur. On these three fast days, we should be silent and contemplative, and throughout the month we should refrain from watching TV and listening to the radio.

During this month, the elders, political prisoners and veterans of the struggle should make a particular effort to reach out to the youth and teach them our history and lessons from our experience. We should demonstrate Panther Love, throw away old grudges, and start new friendships. We should draw our comrades closer and strengthen our united commitment to advance the struggle.

Besides fasting, comrades should work out and get physical exercise, meditate and put mind, body and spirit in harmony.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome this Black August greeting in time for our July/August issue. Black August is truly a people's holiday. And its power is acknowledged in California, where it began and where the state still uses Black August material as a justification to put people in Security Housing Units. While we print this comrades suggestions for celebration during the month, we also warn against ultra-leftism and spirituality. Yes, study history and turn off mindless television, but don't cut yourself off from the world for a month. Yes, exercise and even fasting can be healthy, but learn more about how fasting will affect your body in your specific conditions on a prison diet, and don't decrease your strength through excess.

This communique also comes at a time when we are hearing about the work of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (NABPP) paralleling our own. While we print this statement and have worked with the NABPP elsewhere, we warn our readers that the "MLM" and "Pantherism" of the NABPP is not the same as ours. While the NABPP's practice has generally been commendable, we criticize their ideology as revisionist and crypto-Trotskyist. We discuss the revisionism of NABPP in "Maoism Around Us" and critique one of the NABPP Minister of Defense Rashid's publications in "Fearlessness, Scientific Strategy and Security".

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Florida] [ULK Issue 15]
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School of Hard Knocks

Welcome to the school of hard knocks,
where it seems the clock has stopped,
trapped in a prison industrial complex,
the size of city blocks,
guns cocked in gun towers,
Ever so slowly passes, years, days, months and hours,
time devours all - tempus edax rerum
And here I live in this correctional slum
I've never been dumb, but I've done dumb things
and this brings me to:
As long as I'm alive, I strive,
Sometimes striving means simply surviving,
I could have went to Penn state,
but instead I'm in the state pen
Surrounded by 1200 people, but not one friend
I sent a letter to my family, but it seems that they're mad at me,
Because they only seem to respond semi-annually,
But I still have a strategy
to increase intellectually,
they may have my body, but they don't have the best of me,
I'm 30 now, I'll be released at 41,
In the futuristic year of 2021
The sum total of my incarcerated years will be 20,
But the total of the tears of me and my family is too many,
Plenty places, all over the state they have sent me,
tortured occasionally with tear gas and electricity,
they think that they're breaking me, but they're only remaking me,
I'm taking a breath while they're trying to smother,
And brother, in this world, if you break it down statistically
you'll realize you have to do your own part individually,
and realistically, I can see, if I don't improvise, educationally,
In FL DOC, I'll never go further than GED,
So I'm striving and searching, reaching and seeking,
trying to gain more knowledge, give my life more meaning,
in this institutional, "correctional," demeaning existence,
to improve yourself, takes a lot of persistence,
and one day prove useful to communist resistance

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[Police Brutality] [Organizing] [Oscar Grant] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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Pig Gets Off for Murder

On July 9 at around 2:30 p.m. the announcement was made that the official verdict on the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the transit pig who shot Oscar Grant in the back and killed him, would be released that day, and immediately people started gathering at the major intersection of 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland, California. At about 4:15 p.m., the verdict of involuntary manslaughter was released. This is the lowest charge that the jury could have chosen to give Mehserle, and as expected, the people of Oakland were pissed. Our comrades attended the protest, equipped with fliers emphasizing that the movement needs to be elevated from rioting into conscious revolutionary struggle generally, and national liberation struggles specifically, if people want to stop the murders of more Oscar Grants. The flier suggested Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth and Black Panther Party original documents as good starting points for a successful transition into a movement to truly end police brutality.

Government employees in the downtown area were under a mandatory evacuation, and business people were high-tailing it out of there as fast as the freeways could take them. The state and the media had hyped it up to be L.A. in 1992. That was far from the case. Still many large buildings were boarded up 20 feet high for days; others were frantically drilling in plywood as protesters converged. The hype was so extreme that even one discount grocery store located a mile from the epicenter of the protest boarded its windows as soon as the jury went into deliberation - as if a crazed mob would travel so far to loot their expired yogurt.

The City of Oakland set up a sound system in front of Town Hall that was supposed to serve as a speak-out, but was just playing funk for a few casual dancers, sometimes so loud that it seemed like they were attempting to drown out the actual protest. The rest of the 1000 people were gathered around a much smaller sound system in the adjacent intersection, having their own speak-out. The soap box ran from about 5-8 p.m., and the "don't tear up Oakland" position that was emphasized so strongly at past protests seemed to have taken a back seat on the collective agenda of the group. Most messages were that this verdict is bullshit, the system isn't going to give justice for Oscar Grant, and we need to organize. There was also a strong recognition that Black people were the targets of this violence and of the need for Black nationalism.

The typical divisive tactics that we had reported on at previous at Oscar Grant movement events was also present. One man insisted on addressing "just the Oaklanders" and advised the Black youth to not get "pimped" by "outside agitators." The response from the crowd was cold. The next speaker said he was also asked to speak on "outside agitators" and went on to point out that Martin Luther King, Jr. was called an "outside agitator" everywhere he went in the South. He said that no one is "outside" the struggle for justice, and went on to point out that the only people who are coming from outside the movement to cause problems were the pigs. This brother received enthusiastic cheers.

This theme was one that had been playing out for weeks within the organizations preparing for the verdict. Reportedly, non-profit leaders and those working with the City government were spearheading the line that the Black youth of Oakland couldn't rebel without white people from the suburbs telling them what to do. This racist bullshit had already been struggled against for weeks leading up to the verdict. While some in the crowd were dismissive of white speakers, telling them to get down, ultimately it was the content of what was being said that the protesters recognized. While there was a strong contingent of self-proclaimed locals saying "be cool" and using the local slang to attempt to create divisions, their effect seemed minimal.

During the speak out, pigs were lined up several blocks from the protest, controlling foot traffic and warning "unsuspecting" bicyclists of the "danger" ahead. At 8 p.m. the soap box was shut down by the City and everyone was hanging out in the streets, occupying several blocks of Broadway. After about thirty minutes, a trash can was lit on fire but protesters put it out within a minute. Occasional bottles were thrown at the pigs, and when any excuse was given to the pigs to attack, many of the protesters would run like hell. The pigs were surprisingly non-reactive, however, and would just occasionally change positions, pushing the protest north on Broadway. This didn't prevent "Fuck the Police" from being the most popular chant of the night.

A Foot Locker was looted, and many people made out with fresh kicks and jerseys. A group of three to four protesters started guarding the Foot Locker and tried to appeal to the protesters to not loot, which they said would prove that they are just ignorant Black people and would prove "them" right ("them" presumably being the white legislators and City officials who they hope to ask for justice). On the other hand, the guards correctly emphasized that there are Black organizations to get involved in to deal with these issues, and that looting the shoe store won't stop killings. If there was a strong Black vanguard in the area, MIM(Prisons) would have worked with them at this event rather than promoting study and building of new cadre groups. That's not to say there aren't a number of small, semi-underground formations that are worth working with, but none of them wield the power or influence to have led the rebellion.

The Black Panther Party asserted the need for a vanguard to organize and lead the masses down the most effective path to power in The Correct Handling of a Revolution, following the uprisings in 1968 across the country. It states, "There are basically three ways one can learn: through study, through observation, and through actual experience." They go on to say that the Black community generally learns through observation and participation. Unfortunately, the lessons put forth in this article were not observable at the demonstrations this year or last, indicating that study is needed. While the fires, graffiti and smashed windows grab our immediate attention, it is the serious organizing efforts that will allow the Oscar Grant movement to have a lasting effect. While it is hard to quantify these efforts now, the mood of the speakers indicate that despite the lack of a vanguard organization leading the rebellions, many are thinking and moving in this direction.

Over the next few hours the crowd gradually dwindled, smoke bombs and fire crackers were set off, windows broken, over a dozen dumpsters and trash cans lit up, graffiti was sprayed, garbage cans tossed into the transit stations, as the crowd was constantly pushed north, sectioned off, and divided by the pigs. At one point the street lights went out and three gun shots were fired from an unknown source, but apparently nobody was hit. Unlike the usual large demonstrations in the Bay Area, many protesters tonight were armed, but attacks on police were limited to rocks, bottles and, according to police, a few molotov cocktails. By 11 p.m., the protest had reduced to small groups launching hit-and-run tactics on stores. Their movement seemed guided by the police, who vastly outnumbered them. At the end of the day, there were 78 arrests.

Although our comrades were not on the front lines for the whole showdown, a tazer was only heard once, and while there were regular explosions heard, no reports are claiming that they were caused by the kkkops. Overall it seemed like the pigs were on their best behavior (for being stinking fucking pigs, anyway). This was clearly unexpected behavior by most protesters, who were constantly running at the slightest sign of action, only to return a few minutes later when they realized the tear gas and rubber bullets had yet to arrive. Activists were expecting the worst, including the use of the a $675,000 long-range acoustic device (a machine that produces sound waves that can cause permanent damage) that the Oakland Police Department recently purchased. Again, it never showed up.

The pigs outnumbered and outlasted the protesters. When the rebels had been reduced to a couple hundred, the pigs still had reinforcements coming in and surely more on standby. The fact that there was no need to resort to severe repression demonstrated their control over the situation. Evidently, they were willing to sacrifice a few downtown businesses as a pressure release. The next morning, the Oakland police chief was celebratory about their ability to control and contain the rebellions.

Mehserle's sentence is due out in November, and could range from 14 years in prison to probation. We expect the day of sentencing to re-ignite these protests all over the state.

Notes: Prisoners write us for a copy of "Oscar Grant: organization, line and strategy" printed on the anniversary of the initial rebellions following Grant's murder.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Washington] [ULK Issue 15]
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Revolutionary Suicide

You muthafuckaz is stupid, we makin' music for the movement / You can find me in the streets organizin' revolution / Pigs come for D.P., best believe that we shootin' / And if the people can't eat, best believe that we lootin' / Til I'm dead I rep for Fred, George, and Huey P. / Turned in my red, white and blues for the Red, Black and Greens / So make room, we comin' through the People's Army's with me / And you can tell that we some soldiers by the army fatigues / And all these haters call me "race traitor," I'm a creator / How the fuck is you a tiger when you made outta paper? / Imitators and fakers is perpetratin' as gangsters / But get exposed now they froze in the face of liberators / Organized and fortified with discipline as the basis / COINTELPRO couldn't send agents to infiltrate us / Cuz we bossed up, empowered, and self-determinated / How the fuck is you a slave in the age of information? / Sharp as a razor blade when I move through the matrix / I'm just a link in the chain so we move in formation / Guerilla style, underground we comin' straight from the bassment / Activate the revolution for the future generations / Makaveli branded, automatics is blazin' / Send the city into panic like a Maoist invasion / Made my peace with death cuz that's the fate that I'm facin' / When you die for the people that's the meaning of greatness.

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[Theory] [Medical Care] [Gender] [ULK Issue 15]
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Mental Health: a Maoist Perspective

What is Mental Health?

Starting with the basics: what is often referred to as the "mind" is a complex collection of biochemical reactions that occur in the humyn brain, a physical object. To take a materialist approach to mental health, we must not talk about the "mind" as a separate entity from the physical body. The belief that there is a mind or spirit separate from the physical being is a concept called dualism and is at the basis of most idealist philosophies in the world today.

Applying a basic concept of probability to genetics and biology we can accept that there are going to be humyns that are born with brains that have physical characteristics that lead them to function different than normal, and in some cases that will mean these individuals are less capable of basic humyn functions. That said, the complex biochemistry of the brain is susceptible to all sorts of outside influences from even before an animal is born. These include chemicals in the form of food, medicine and environmental pollutants, as well as physical conditions that induce biochemical responses within the body, such as stress, isolation, and irregular daylight cycles. Therefore, most discussions of inborn psychological disorders lack a scientific basis, as scientists cannot control the myriad of outside factors that influence the brain throughout an animal's lifespan.

A sociological approach shows that mental health has strong connections to gender oppression. In, Getting Clarity on what Gender Oppression is, MC5 defined gender as being found in leisure-time, related to pleasure. Therefore depression, an extreme lack of pleasure, and the alienation that leads to it is largely shaped in the realm of gender. In MIM Theory 9, there is a focus on the disproportionate mental health struggles of wimmin and youth. As we laid out in more detail in Gender Oppression in U.$. Prisons (ULK 1), lumpen youth are gender oppressed by Amerikan biowimmin, and are some of the most gender oppressed within U.$. borders. We suspect prisoners suffer more from mental health problems than wimmin and youth in the United $tates.

The Scientific Method

The bourgeois approach to conflict and problem solving is individualistic. When problems are dealt with on the individual level, only a few problems are solved and then held up as examples that "anyone" can achieve, but most problems are either not solved in the first place, or recur soon after they are solved. Communists, on the other hand, work in the interests of the vast majority in the world today who are oppressed by the powerful. Our strategy is to solve problems at the group level, and mental health is no exception.

While dialectical materialists often refer to themselves as scientists, this does not mean that all scientific work is for the benefit of the people. A more pointed attack would be asking questions like, "what type of science spends millions of dollars studying the effects of long-term isolation on brain waves?" Maoists abolished isolation as a form of psychological treatment in the 1950s. Prior to that time, psychological work in socialist China was criticized by the people because it consisted largely of scientists in labs doing studies isolated from the real world. For a discipline that is supposedly about the mental state of people, which is very dependent on society, this is a very backwards approach. As a result of criticisms, the Chinese practice evolved to focus on improving people's understanding and engagement with the real world. But today, under imperialism, we are still stuck in these archaic forms of mental health research.(1)

As the 1st Crown of BORO describes in h article on psychology, scientific theories are often wrong and often guided by the interests of the group to which the scientist belongs. The theories that subspecies of humyns existed were developed by nations that were in the process of expanding their domination over other peoples. Prior to the development of genetic testing it was harder to argue that theories about different races or subspecies of humyns were incorrect as we can today. Criminology today is similarly tainted by the interests of the oppressors.

Who is Mentally Ill?

In MIM Theory 9, MCB52's review of psychological practice in revolutionary China gives an excellent overview of the subject.(1) S/he prefaces h article by pointing out that those who are diagnosed with mental health problems are mostly "pissed off people rationally resisting the hegemonic culture one way or another. This especially affects youth and women, and rather than trying to 'cure' it — we celebrate it!" However, many people struggle to function as a result. And therefore, there is a great overlap of people struggling with mental health and interested in communist politics, both inside and outside prisons.

In imperialist prisons, the ambiguity of diagnosing people as mentally ill becomes very pronounced. Part of the problem is that imprisonment causes mental health problems, so people who may not have had symptoms that would lead to a diagnosis often develop them. Yet it is not in the oppressor's interests to recognize this problem, so staff feel that they must draw a line between the truly ill and the "fakers." Rather than seeing the prisons as causing mental illness, they see people acting out for attention in contrast to those who were born with "real" mental illness. Such silly exercises allow them to keep some prisoners sedated while pushing others to suicide.(2)

Short-term Solutions

As with most problems we face, we can find answers to mental health problems through dialectical materialism and in having the correct political line. In the 1950s the Chinese eliminated the more backwards psychological practices in their society and replaced them with ones focused on getting individuals to connect with and help shape the material world through applying dialectical materialism. Mental health care, like much of Chinese society under Mao, emphasized the importance of both self-reliance and collective help, with the understanding that patients can fight their diseases and lead productive lives in the new society. This required the participation of the patient's family, doctors, and revolutionary committee at their place of employment.(3) Unfortunately, today we don't have that kind of support in our society, and prisoners as a group are even worse off. So keeping your political line right to stay sane requires even more effort.

One article in this issue of ULK gives an example of sleep deprivation being used as a means of social control. While some have claimed to have trained themselves over time to require very little sleep, such as George Jackson, medical research has demonstrated the importance of regular sleep. Ultra-leftism leads one to take the weight of the world on one's shoulders, and push the purist and extreme line without recognition of one's conditions of struggle. While we encourage comrades to strive to improve their efficiency, we should also take an approach that promotes our health and longevity, as we have a long struggle ahead of us.

We often get letters from comrades in isolation, who are clearly well-read and want to change the system, but their articles are mostly confused and hard to decipher. These comrades have been lost to the system, and at this point there's not much we can do to bring them back. So we must work together with those who aren't lost, to keep them sane and on point. Ultra-leftism can feed into one's isolation, which can be a very bad combo for someone who is already in a prison cell. Develop routines, set goals, and track your progress. All of these things can help you stay sharp mentally when you are physically isolated. But do not let the lack of control you have over your conditions lead you to take up extreme behaviors that threaten your physical or mental health.

The topic that triggered the call for an issue focused on mental health was suicide, which can be associated with a political line of defeatism. We've been getting a number of responses and stories on the topic after a mention in Ra'd's obituary a few months back. One prison censored Under Lock & Key for talking about suicide. While the motivation was not clear, the numerous stories we receive show that these institutions encourage people who are locked up to commit suicide. Censoring open discussions on preventing suicide is just one more way to do this. Yet, at another prison the psychological services staff are giving out our address as a resource for people with suicidal tendencies. This is good news, but probably not common across the country where prisoners are twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population.(4) Overall, suicide rates are higher in the United $tates than many other countries, and comparisons to socialist China in the 1970s showed suicide and schizophrenia to be hundreds of times more common in the United $tates.(5)

If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, write to MIM(Prisons) to get a copy of our struggle with a comrade printed in ULK 13, as well as the self-criticism by a suicidal comrade printed in MIM Theory 9. These are good starting points for re-evaluating your own life in relation to the struggle.(6) In general, we prescribe study and political work. Come up with ways to contribute more to the struggle, while doing any little things you can to improve your immediate situation such as exercise, eating better, meditating, writing people on the outside, forming local discussion groups and staying away from negative influences.

And remember, the purpose of these prisons is to control certain populations. Getting you to end your own life is the ultimate form of control. Therefore, suicide and mental health are closely linked to other forms of control including beating people into submission, drugging them, denying them due process and sexually assaulting them. Exposing and struggling against these abuses is part of the struggle against suicide in U.$. prisons.

Notes:
(1) MCB52. "Psychological Practice in the Chinese Revolution," MIM Theory 9: Psychology and Imperialism, MIM Distributors: 1995. p.34.
(2) U.S. Prisons Prove Maddening: review of Terry Kuper's book Prison Madness by MIM
(3) Sidel, Victor & Ruth. Serve the People: Observations on Medicine in the People's Republic of China, Beacon Press: 1973. p. 156.
(4) Kupers, Terry. Prison Madness: the Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About it, Jossey-Bass Publishers: 1999. p.175.
(5) HC116. The Imperialist-Patriarchy's phony Anti-Stigma, 22 April 2005.
(6) For more testimonies and strategies from control unit survivors see: Survivors Manual compiled by Bonnie Kerness Coordinator AFSC Prison Watch Program 89 Market Street, 6th Floor Newark, NJ 07102

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[National Oppression] [Mental Health] [ULK Issue 15]
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Psychiatry and Psychology as National Oppression

When revolutionaries begin discussing and conducting a concrete analysis of the particularities of national oppression and how imprisonment is used as a tool of imperialist social control, we invariably must engage in discussing and analyzing how the so-called sciences of psychiatry and psychology are used to further legitimize and give moral reasoning to the national oppression and racist extermination of oppressed nations by imperialist nations.

The Maoist Internationalist Movement wrote about and critiqued in great detail psychiatry and psychology as pseudo-sciences. For those who wish to do an exhaustive study on the subject, I highly recommend that material.(1)

Forced Psychotropic Medications

The Missouri Department of Corrections has a policy entitled, "Forced and Involuntary Psychotropic Medications," that is reminiscent of Nazi Germany. This policy gives administrators the authority to force psychotropic medications on a prisoner who is a danger to her/himself and/or others, or is gravely disabled, among other things. This same policy further states that a prisoner can refuse this medication and psychotropic medication should never be used strictly for behavioral control in the absence of a mental disorder. Yet, all of this is done without the prisoner having legal counsel or representation at a medical-psychiatric hearing with staff.

Ultimately, the question is, who is it that determines what a mental disorder is? How do they determine who, how or when someone is a danger to themselves or another? I answer, all of them are determined by the imperialists!

Racist Pseudo-Science

From our study of history, we can see that the oppressors have always used pseudo-science to justify the oppression and genocide of oppressed nations. Whether the "savage" First Nations, "heathen" Africans or "feeble-minded" Jews, psychiatry/psychology were the social sciences that the oppressor nations used to legitimize the oppression and exploitation of others who were considered a different "race."

While much of the language has changed, the essence remains the same — white supremacy uses psychiatry/psychology to further their aims of imposing their will upon others. Those who oppose them are often labeled "extremists," "terrorists," "radicals," "criminals," "crazy," etc.

Take, for example, the theory of eugenics. Eugenics was a term coined by Charles Darwin's cousin Francis Galton in 1883, which referred to the attempt to "improve the human species by affording the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable."(2)

This false scientific theory postulated that there were genes within oppressed nations that were leading to the deterioration of the humyn race and that oppressed nations were predisposed to committing crimes. The resolution to this contradiction was to isolate these people in institutions (i.e. mental hospitals, prisons, reservations, ghettos, barrios, slums, etc.) or sterilize them. The state of California was one of twenty-nine Amerikan states to pass laws allowing sterilization, and conducted more forced sterilizations than anywhere in the United $tates. These sterilizations were justified as efforts to prevent the passing on of mental illness and criminality. Today, criminality is still treated as an inborn psychological trait even though links to race are usually only implied, not explicitly stated.

Eugenics research was funded by the Carnegie Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation helped to finance German researchers at an extremely high level all the way up to 1939 before the onset of World War II, and was aware that German scientists were gassing people in mental institutions. The Rockefellers and Prescott Sheldon Bush, George W. Bush's grandfather, were partners with I.G. Farben, the German chemical giant that built the death camp at Auschwitz. (see resources at end of article)

Eugenics was approved by the National Academy of Sciences, Amerikan Medical Association and National Research Council, and of course many Amerikan political and business leaders of the time. But after Hitler killed millions of Jews, nobody wanted to be associated with that horror, so they changed the words. In the 1990s, eugenics became the Bell Curve Theory.(2)

Pseudo-Scientific Credence

Pseudo-scientific credence means providing credibility to an issue based on flawed science. White supremacy is based on a false contention derived from a pseudo-scientific application of biology. Race-based theories were also given credence by flawed science in the form of psychology. For example, Samuel A. Cartwright, a prominent Louisiana Physician claimed that he discovered two mental "diseases" (his word) in 1851 that were peculiar to the "negro" race: 1) drapetomania and 2) dysaethesia aethiopica. In brief, drapetomania was a disease that caused Blacks to have an uncontrolled urge to run away from their masters - the treatment for this "illness" was "whipping the devil out of them." We all know that a captured fugitive slave was often beaten with a whip by his/her slave master, a clear example of how this pseudo-science gave credence to the slave master's brutality. Dysaethesia aethiopica supposedly affected both mind and body, the diagnosable signs included disobedience, answering disrespectfully and refusing to work. The "cure" was to put the persyn to some kind of hard labor. In 1797, the "father" of Amerikkkan psychiatry, Dr. Benjamin Rush, whose face still adorns the seal of the Amerikkkan Psychiatric Association, declared that the color of Blacks was caused by a rare congenital disease caused "negritude," which derived from leprosy. The "cure" was when the skin turned white.(4,5)

Independence from Oppressive "Science"

The essence of this lesson is that until oppressed nations achieve self-determination, control of their own institutions that speak to their needs, and the requisite power to guide the destiny of their nation, the imperialists will continue to use pseudo-sciences such as psychiatry and psychology to further their aims to dominate, imprison and exploit poor and oppressed nations — and if push comes to shove, destroy them!

Notes:
(1) Psychology & Imperialism. MIM Theory 9, 1995. MIM Distributors.
(2) MC12. "Bell Curve Lessons: IQ Against the Oppressed," MIM Theory 9.
(3) Lothrop Stoddard. "The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy"
(4) Abdul D. Shakur, Abasi Ganda, Kamau M. Askari. "The Bell Curve Conspiracy: A Recipe for New Afrikan Genocide" Black Panther Press, 2003.
(5) "Creating Racism: Psychiatry's Betrayal in the Guise of Help." The Citizenship Commission on Human Rights, 1995.

Other Resources:


Edwin Black. War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. Four Walls: New York, 2003.
Wendy Kline. Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality and Eugenics from the turn of the Century to the Baby Boom. University of California Press: Berkeley, 2001.
Stevan Kuhl. The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism and German National Socialism. Oxford University Press: New York, 1994.
James Scott. Seeing Like a State: How certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed. Houghton Mifflin: New York, 2006.
Cory Panshin. The Secret History of the 20th Century. 2006.
Tom Big Warrior. They Only Call it Fascism When it's Being Done to White People. Rising Sun Press: 2006.

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[Environmentalism] [ULK Issue 15]
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Gulf oil spill: It's capitalism, stupid!

Hands across Amerika, what a wonderful, heart-warming concept. From Santa Monica, California to the beaches of Alabama, Amerikans united in an attempt to show their disappointment and anger at the British Petroleum oil company (BP) as well as their love for the environment, specifically the Gulf Coast.

It's been over two months since BP caused the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf Coast region of the United Snakes, and still the imperialists and big capitalists are at a loss for how to stop one of the most destructive environmental disasters in humyn history. Amerikans are mad! One of the things Amerikans hate to see most is when the evils of imperialism touch "their" shores. What a huge financial hit for all those people living on and near the Gulf Coast, not to mention all that poor defenseless marine life - how dare that BP come here and impose their careless, maniacal ways on Amerikkka - have they no shame? Amerikans didn't want that oil anyway, right?

Actually, Amerikans do want BP drilling for oil. Being the parasites on humynity and the globe that they are, they definitely wanted BP drilling for oil in the Gulf Coast no matter what they say. They're thirsty for oil like ticks for blood. It's partly why they installed the Shah of Iran back in the day. It's why they invaded Kuwait and attacked Iraq during the Gulf War, which led to record-breaking marine oil spills at that time polluting wetlands in Iraq (BP has far surpassed those records now).(1) It's why Amerika invaded Iraq a second time and hung Saddam. And it's partly why they now have their sights set on Iran for regime change. So please, to all you oil thirsty piggish Amerikans, spare us your sentiments. You wanted that oil just as much, if not more than your big capitalists and energy corporations did.

It's not as if BP is some foreign entity completely alien to Amerika which somehow just muscled or manipulated the western hemisphere's only superpower and began drilling at will. You wanted that oil when you decided to get rid of that tired old Chevy and upgrade to a decadently sprawled out 2010 all terrain SUV. You wanted that oil when you decided to keep your home at a comfy 73 degrees year round even though you live in California. You want that oil every time you purchase all of the other pointless, unnecessary crap that you don't need which requires oil for manufacturing, packaging, shipping, etc. And finally, you prove that you want that oil every time one of your boys and girls comes back from overseas in a body bag, or subject the Third World to your yoke of oppression, death and destruction.

Everything's fine and dandy when the oil spill happens somewhere else, in some country you're too lazy to even try to pronounce right. Nigerians have been living among oil spills for over 50 years, amounting to over 550 million gallons spilled, thanks to foreign oil companies supplying Amerikans and other rich nations.(2) Fifty years, and still nothing has been done about the destroyed ecosystems or humyn livelihoods. And for those who are campaigning to end off shore oil drilling in the United $tates without seriously restricting First World consumption: that will only translate into more pollution and destruction in Nigeria, the Sudan and all over the Middle East where humyn lives and ecosystems are deemed less worthy by the chauvinists screaming "not in my backyard!"

The oil spill wasn't BP's fault alone and it wasn't Obama's fault alone, either. It's capitalism stupid, and the sooner you begin to understand that and start to do something to ensure that oil spills like in the Gulf Coast don't happen again, like say helping to bring imperialism down, the better off we'll all be.

This type of disaster would have had a very small to nil chance of happening in the former Soviet Union (1917-1953) or the socialist People's Republic of China (1949-1976), because those communist countries wouldn't have had to do the extensive drilling that the First World seems so caught up with. Why? It is exactly because the communist countries implement something called "planned economics," to meet humyn needs. With today's knowledge of capitalism's effects on Earth's ecology, a socialist form of production would only approve the production of necessary amounts of what's needed for their people, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical supplies and other necessities for trade and sale. These planned economies would be updated quarterly, yearly or as needed. But today, Amerikans demand more and they want it cheap. And the imperialists must produce more than is needed in order to continue to profit.

In a Maoist economic system, since production is for need and not profit, safety suddenly becomes "affordable." Under capitalism, cutting corners increases profits, while threatening humyn lives. While many Amerikans are legitimately angry, they feel helpless to do anything. The BP officials seem untouchable, yet in a Maoist planned socialist economy, those in charge of potentially life-threatening operations are held to the greatest accountability, including the death penalty. While BP officials are millionaires, communist officials in socialist China made much less than intellectuals, while bearing much more responsibility. Allowing the few to profit off of the destruction of the planet that all life depends on will be the most lasting legacy of capitalism that future generations will scratch their heads at.

We can expect many more environmental disasters to hit Amerika (as they've already been hitting the Third World for decades) in the years to come as the imperialists get more desperate to exploit the earth for its material resources and leave all qualms aside when it comes to tapping more and more into the U.$. minerals and fossil fuel reserves. The insatiable appetites of consumption of the First World must be stopped in order to maintain a planet worth building socialism on.

Notes:
(1)Threats to the environment posed by war in Iraq. Science in Africa, March 2003.
(2)Jon Gambrell. Gulf spill a familiar story in oil-soaked Nigeria. Associated Press, July 5, 2010.

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[Organizing] [Holman Correctional Facility] [Alabama] [ULK Issue 15]
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Back to the basics

Not too long ago, prisoners at the Holman Max Security prison in Alabama staged a work/hunger strike in protest of the horrendous and deplorable unsanitary living conditions (open sewage around the toilets and sinks, gaping holes in the shower walls, exposed plumbing, leaking roof in the living and sleeping area and in the kitchen, and the constant arbitrary lockdowns).

There had been grumblings about these conditions from most prisoners. Complaints had been filed but no action was ever taken to correct any of the above problems.

A few prisoners got together, chopped it up and came up with a strategy and tactics to correct the conditions. We knew that this was a winnable battle because the conditions were right to galvanize the entire prison population and we had family and friends on the outside.

The conditions in the dorms and kitchen were so deplorable that there was no way for prisoncrats to dance around the issues of willful neglect and the callous disregard for sanitation and prisoners health.

We also knew that they couldn't afford to allow the prison industry (tag plant/metal fab) to be closed down too long. We were hitting them in their pockets. Plus, the pigs are so lazy that we knew there would be friction among them about having to prepare hot, cooked meals for those prisoners who were exempt from the hunger strike, and to wash the trays, pots and pans.

We made a list of all the people and agencies we want to notify about what was going down and why we were staging a peaceful work/hunger strike. We had our people outside to bombard the commissioner's office with faxes and phone calls, call the local media to notify them of the strike and express their concern and outrage about the conditions.

We then sent kites (notes) to prisoners in the other four dorms about what we were getting ready to do and why, and asked that they take the leadership in their dorms. Word came back from the other dorms giving the ok. Then simultaneously, all four dorms placed all TVs and microwaves at the front gate. TVs have always been used as a weapon to pacify prisoners for years. So, we were letting them know that no longer could they control us with them.

Instantly, the pigs who were in the dorms fled. We addressed the entire dorm laying out what we were doing, why and how we planned on proceeding. We asked that everyone join in the strike. Only the elderly and those with medical reasons were allowed to go and eat, and they acted as reconnaissance scouts while out of the dorm. With everyone's input we drew up a list of demands and declared them non-negotiable. The first demand was that we wanted to talk to the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and not the warden of the prison. We knew that eventually the riot team would be called in so we discussed how we were going to handle that. The consensus was that we keep the strike peaceful and there would be nothing they could do. On more than one occasion, the pigs tried to provoke violent confrontations. We refused to play into their hands.

Over 18 hours into the strike, the commissioner made his way from Montgomery, Alabama to Holman prison at Atmore, Alabama. He requested to speak with our spokesmen. We had selected a spokesman from and for each dorm. The spokesmen informed the commissioner that there would be no dealings with the warden since he had years to address our concerns and that there would be no private talks. The commissioner was forced to enter the dorms. We made our complaints and demands. The commissioner tried to dodge and use the same old crap they always use about budgets and allocations of funds for the ADOC. We let him know that we've heard that before and that we were not willing to end the strike until we got some guarantees and changes. The commissioner eventually agreed to all our demands.

The following day inspectors, contractors, etc. visited the prison and prisoners were temporarily moved from each dorm for renovations to begin. Within a year all dorms were renovated and a new roof was put in place.

We read the conditions right. The population was angry and thoroughly dissatisfied with the conditions. The population was just waiting on someone to take the initiative and move out front, to take the leadership role.

Some did just that.

This article referenced in:
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[Culture] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 15]
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Cultural imperialism: Why oppressed nations should not celebrate our oppressor's holidays and cultures

As revolutionaries we recognize the important role of understanding history and culture and how a correct analysis of them aids the people in breaking the chains of national oppression.

If imperialism is the control and exploitation of poor nations by rich nations then cultural imperialism is the domination and negation of a poor nation's culture and history. When an oppressed nation practices the culture and participates in the celebrating of the national holidays of their oppressors, they are, in fact, celebrating their own oppression, cultural domination and genocide.

In the United $nakes, oppressed nations tend to celebrate the oppressive white nation's holidays and culture with more enthusiasm than the white folks. Back during chattel slavery this could have been understandable, because it meant we didn't have to work in the white man's fields for free. But today, the reality is different.

The 4th of July (Amerikkka's day of independence) is upon us again and New Afrikan (Black) people and other internal oppressed nations have absolutely nothing to celebrate. It is a downright disrespect to our people's historic struggle to be out celebrating, partying and bullshitting, when we should be in the streets agitating, educating and organizing the masses for social revolutionary struggle for national independence. When we gain our independence, then let's celebrate.

The 4th of July is a Euro-Amerikan cultural and political holiday in recognition of their successful revolutionary struggle to break the chains of English colonial bondage. On July 4, 1776, Black, Latino and First Nation people were catching hell! We were enslaved, being exploited and murdered, so what the hell is our cause for celebration? Do we suffer from some sort of cultural and historical amnesia?

Check out what Frederick Douglas had to say to the white folk who asked him to speak at a fourth of July celebration:

"Fellow citizens, pardon me and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? Perhaps you mean to mock me. For what have I to do with your celebration? What to the American slave is your fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is a constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham, your boasted liberty an unholy license, your national greatness, a swelling vanity, your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless, your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence. Your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery, your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgiving, with all your religious parades and solemnity, hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages."

What you say and do is a reflection of who you are. The only true culture of the oppressed is a revolutionary culture that is built throughout the struggle for national liberation. The people's culture is not some far off distant time that has long ago burned out in some distant land. It is alive and developing out of the people's struggle against oppression and exploitation.

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[Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Huntingdon] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 15]
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Uniting to fight denied food

On June 26 history was made in SCI Huntingdon's Restricted Housing Unit (RHU). The early Saturday morning began with a racist Correctional Officer (CO) named Powell depriving two prisoners of their breakfast trays. Things like this have been constant here at Huntingdon but this day we had enough and decided to take a stand.

We told the superior officer on deck to feed the two inmates who were denied their breakfast trays or else it was "going down," the officers did not comply, so we waited until they passed out cleaning supplies which consist of a bucket, disinfect, a toilet scrubber, and a floor brush. When the officers came to collect the supplies we gave back everything except the floor brush, which we kept as weapons. We then put our towels over our door windows. The officers began yelling threats about suiting up in riot gear and coming in our cells. Quickly prisoners began taking their towels off of their door and complying, and the number of us still standing was only seven.

Officers began to leave off of the quad ready to suit up in riot gear when we suggested that letting them arm themselves was a bad idea. We decided that this time we would be the hunters instead of the hunted. The two prisoners who did not eat were first. The first one faked a suicide attempt that made the officers have to run in his cell unarmed and when they opened his cell door he took action, getting as many of the four officers until more officers had to help restrain him. Next the other prisoner did the same and when they opened his door he took action using any means to get as many of them as he could before more officers had to help restrain him. From these first two incidents six officers were injured, but it was far from over. Next another prisoner forced the officers into his cell after they had sprayed pepper spray in it. He made sure he got some action before they restrained him. The injured officer toll was now eight.

My celly and I were next. We were the only double cell on the tier, and the officers would not come in. They left and suited up in riot gear, and then turned our water off. Next they ran into a prisoner''s cell with full riot gear, electrical shields and a stun gun. As soon as they ran in, a helmet came flying out and the injured officer toll was now nine. Next they came into our with full riot gear, and two officers were on the floor before either of us wes electrocuted, maced and restrained. Eleven points for the home team. While my cellmate and I were being stripped and checked for injury, the officers were complaining about the CO who started this mess (officer Powell) by depriving the two prisoners of their breakfast trays. Coincidentally, he was not amongst the officers involved in this action. There was still one prisoner left, but before they decided to go in his cell, they let it be known that whatever they had to do for us to stop the madness, they would do it. They submitted! The prisoners were fed and we all received our property back with the exception of our bed linen. We all received misconducts and along with a bruise or two it was a small price to pay in order to gain our respect. Unity overcame oppression. For the first time in Huntingdon RHU history we stopped talking and gave them the only thing that they respected (violence) to gain our respect. Message to all of our brothers in the struggle: it can be done!

MIM(Prisons) adds: We do not think armed struggle now is a viable option for obtaining a more just society within the imperialist countries today. Therefore our strategic orientation opposes going up against the state in physical confrontations where we are always outgunned. That said, we agree with the theoretical point that the state does not respect so-called rights, but they do respect violence. Ultimately the imperialists will not give up oppression and exploitation peacefully.

To oppose armed struggle as a strategy today does not mean that physical force can never be used as a tactic in the fight for justice. Much of the changes that are credited to the civil rights movement were ensured by the revolutionary nationalist movements of the time that threatened to use force against the state. Similarly, the trial of Johannes Mehserle, as pathetic as it was, was triggered by the use of physical force by the oppressed. It would be irresponsible for us to deny these truths, just as it would be irresponsible for us to encourage prisoners to get in fights with guards.


Related Articles:
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[Organizing] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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This ain't TV, there's no justice here

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), High Desert State Prison (HDSP) and Lassen County Superior Court are working together to ensure that prisoners' rights continue to be violated! The prison industry and the injustice system stay true to form. According to the propaganda that the U.$. continuously pushes out, "if you seek justice, you should allow the system to work for you." We see this mentality on all the popular TV shows such as Law and Order, NCIS, Judge Judy, etc., as well as in newspapers and magazines. But how can anyone consider a system "just" that fails to protect the basic rights of the people?

You can't, and most people on the outside (that have never dealt with the prison industry) do not and (most) can not comprehend the abuses and atrocities that go on behind the walls, committed by the prison administration and the courts. Take for example the mass validations and blatant violations of prisoners' rights that continue to occur here at High Desert in the administrative segregation unit (Z-unit). I was personally targeted and validated during last year's goon squad sweep. However, I did not sit still and do nothing, no sir, instead I filed an inmate appeal and followed it all the way to the director's level and was denied. Then I filed a petition for habeas corpus and was denied. Now I have to appeal to the appellate courts and we'll see what happens there. Now CDCR validated me as an associate of the NS prison gang, however none of their so-called points that were used against me meet state guidelines or laws. My three supposed points were two lists of names which are considered laundry lists (CDCR agreed to stop using laundry lists in the 2004 Castillo v. Alameda settlement) and one point was I told investigators I had "no comment" during an investigation.

My story is the normal practice here at HDSP and consistently occurs with just about all those who have been validated. And when you turn to the courts, they close their eyes and turn their heads and let the injustice continue uninhibited. So how can we receive justice? We can't, not as long as this capitalist society continues to think about the almighty dollar instead of the needs of the people. And since prisoners equal money to California, the courts and legislators will continue to allow these violations and others to go on until revolution forces a change.

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[National Oppression] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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Appeals Denied on Mass Validation

I sent the grievance petition to the Director of Corrections [in the California Department of Corrections (CDCR)] on the flawed grievance system and how prison officials are purposely violating our rights by using oppressive tactics to stop and hinder us in filing administrative appeals. I received a letter back via a Redding CC II supervisor of high security and transitional housing, stating my letter was received and that the office of the inspector general has the authority to investigate complaints of officials of the CDCR for acts of administrative wrong doing. Basically, the CDCR isn't going to investigate said allegations but I'm welcome to try and get somebody else to. I'm going to strike up an administrative appeal on this issue for I have had a lot of appeals screened out for arbitrary reasons that in some cases can't be met, appeals lost, and just given the run around when trying to get my issues heard. But the appeals coordinator has previously screened out an appeal on him for arbitrarily screening out one of my appeals saying that the appeals coordinator's decision to screen out an appeal "can't be appealed" so I already know filing any kind of an administrative appeal on such an issue will be an uphill battle.

I am one of the 50 to 60 northern hispanics who were wrongly swept up in a mass validation sweep on High Desert State Prison's (HDSP) C-yard and placed in Z-unit (Ad-Seg) on false, unreliable, and insufficient information that doesn't amount to "some evidence" that I'm a prison gang associate. HDSP and CDCR are continuing to deny our administrative appeals, when we can show clear violations of their regulations and the law in how they validated us. I currently have appeals in on my validation. The fact is that they are not allowing us to receive our appliances in Z-unit when our privilege group allows such, the inadequate law library herein, and the fact that we are being held in Z-unit for years and not being transferred to the Security Housing Units. HDSP staff acts as if they're above all laws/rules and can do whatever they want.

I would also like to comment on the false snitches HDSP is breeding. For example, I was placed in Ad-Seg due to Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI) claiming they had sufficient evidence to validate me. But when I was given my validation package it was seen that I was placed in Ad-Seg when I only had one point towards my validation and I didn't receive the other two points that they needed for almost another month. Now IGI was hoping that someone would break and be willing to say anything to get out of Z-unit. You see when someone starts snitching they are moved to a building that allows them to have their appliances and other extra privileges that we are denied here in Z-unit so people desperate to get out of Z-unit will tell the debriefers exactly what they want to hear, be it true or, in most cases, false. Further, the prisoners snitching are usually validated, meaning they went through the whole process, know what the prison officials want to hear and the wording/terms to implicate someone. This system is highly unreliable for anyone can name a prisoner, give h a label/title and prison officials will validate themj just on that type of information.

These are issues that I'm currently dealing with and fighting and I thank you for reading it and also giving it some exposure in your newsletter.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The petition this comrade is referring to is part of the campaign to demand an answer to grievances that are often ignored, destroyed, or screened out for arbitrary reasons. Currently comrades have created petitions specific to California, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma. If you know prisoners who are having their grievances ignored, get in touch with us to get involved in this campaign.

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[Medical Care] [Texas] [ULK Issue 15]
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Refused medical treatment in Texas

I'm writing in reference to the mental health and overall medical conditions in the Texas pri$on $y$tem. Here recently they've been taking several mental health patients off their psych medications even though these individuals need these medications. They say these individuals don't need these medications anymore, even though they've been diagnosed with mental disorders prior. Since they've started taking these individuals off their medication there's been several of them attempting suicide (one successful).

They've refused me treatment for a rash I had spreading over my body. I had to raise hell just to get some medication for it. It's to the point now where it's extremely difficult to get any kind of treatment for anything.

The big picture is these pigs could care less about our mental or physical well being. It's all about making a dollar to them. If they got to cut back on our medical care, to make more money they will. That's why we got to make a stand comrades, we can't just sit back and let these pigs f**k us over. Sad thing is a lot of these prisoners don't know how to fight back, that's why those of us that do need to step up and show our fellow brothers how to stand up to this injustice system here in Texas and everywhere else for that matter. Once these pigs see that we won't be run over and mistreated, they will stop their B.S!

MIM(Prisons) responds: We are printing this report in our issue focused on mental health. While medical care is often tied into mental health in our society, we are putting forth an approach that looks at mental health as a social issue and problem. While in the narrow sense, these prisoners may have acted on their suicidal tendencies because they stopped receiving certain medications, these medications were only a band-aid to begin with. And while suicide is the ultimate destruction of a humyn being, the fate of many people who are victims of this oppressive system of incarceration, isolation and drugging is little better. So, rather than see the lack of medicine as the cause of death, we would say that the oppressive system of imperialism caused this death and the other suicide attempts.

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[Organizing] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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Response to my critic in SNY debate

During the past 25 1/2 months I've been physically, verbally and emotionally assaulted, degraded, etc. I've fought several successful legal battles during this time also. Some have been denied all the way up to the State Supreme Court. Either way, I have shown full support to our comrades in arms and ink, unlike some of MIM(Prisons)'s correspondents, specifically one who replied to a previous article I wrote on unity. This particular comrade's response to me was published in ULK 14 (May/June 2010).

In my article, I stated that all comrades must put aside our petty politics of Special Needs Yard (SNY) vs. mainline crap. I am on SNY and have not had a bunch of other prisoners forcing me to do things just because they say it's to be done. I no longer have to fear reprisals for being my own man, or going to groups, religious services or law libraries to help with legal work.

Each person is their own person on SNY, free to do and be what they choose, not through fear, but choice.

The comrade who rips into my article claims it's SNY prisoners that further the Green Wall in prisons. That's pure speculation. It's a fact that mainline and SNY don't really affect that Green Wall either way. Sure, SNY yards aren't perfect. Yes, a lot of creeps run around also. But there is greater freedom and unity on SNY. A forceful riot with violence under threat of punishment on the mainline yards due to active prisoner politics is not even close to a voluntary sit down/riot/strike/protest/etc. by SNY prisoners, nor will it achieve the same results.

I was an active skinhead for well over 7 years in prison. I participated in no fewer than 6 riots/protests under duress. What was accomplished was barely worth my time. It continued the racist segregation, deprived prisoners of even the barest necessities, programs, visits, access to legal libraries, educational and rehabilitative services, and more. This in turn made guard's jobs easier, and allowed them to do less work for the same pay. No great accomplishments.

Not that it's all great on SNY, but I've witnessed greater accomplishments out of an SNY protest. As an SNY prisoner I've been a part of 3 nonviolent protests and 2 riots, each on a voluntary level. The lack of fear helped unite prisoners longer. The camaraderie was more intact, the benefits more noticeable. During one of the nonviolent sit-downs, we accomplished higher wages for the workers in all the Prison Industry Authority factories here, though still not fair wages compared to those of general society.

In another case, a violent riot involving SNY prisoners against guards at Lancaster prison, due to being unfairly denied program and visits for petty crap like "lack of staff to run prisons," a riot involving weapons, was a small success in itself. One guard and 3 prisoners were hospitalized. However, our program was returned to normal, our visits returned, store returned.

To hear this comrade talk shit about how he'd rather be in Administrative Segregation at all times rather than have to go to SNY is not showing unity. If this comrade wishes to do that as his own form of protest, fine. That's on him. If he wants to be confined to a cell 23 1/2 hours a day, lose his privileges, visits, family visits, usual store, and program, fine. I personally think it's nuts, but I will never tell him he's wrong.

He automatically labels a SNY prisoner "his own worst enemy." He says SNYs are full of cowards who afraid of programing. This is false. I tried to stay active when I first attempted to get out of the skinhead gangs, but when the other prisoners attempted to jump me daily, label me a "snitch" when I never told a soul a name other than mine, when I was threatened with being stabbed with a knife due to defending myself from racist politics to further benefit my life, it's a common sense issue to do what I did to survive and get back to my family, the people who I know truly care for me.

I am no coward. In fact, it takes a lot of balls to do what I did, to go against the grain, and to better myself. Since then I have educated myself in several areas: basic education, philosophy, religion, politics, and legal issues to give myself a better chance to succeed in life.

I'm not knocking the comrade that criticized my previous article, but it is my personal opinion that s/he isn't informed well enough to speak on the subject of SNY with any authority. I am. I spent a long chunk of time on active yards as a skinhead, as well as on SNY yards, not out of cowardice as this other comrade implies, but as a drop-out skinhead who wished to succeed in life so as to 1) be able to lower the recidivism rates of CDCR, 2) be able to better assist other comrades who aren't as fortunate as I am and 3) return to my friends and family as they need me there with them far more than they need or want me subjected to slave and torture conditions in prison.

Instead of offering up viable options, this critic ostracizes prisoners and comrades, who a lot of the time just want away from situations that are not useful to any reasonable objective. Actives primarily only want gangs, drugs, racism and politics. They claim to be better than SNY. They preach racism and fighting between prisoners and do nothing that thwarts the Green Wall's efforts at instigating those same tensions. At least on the SNY side, these racist, gang and political differences are virtually non-existent, which requires the Green Wall pigs come up with other ways to instigate things.

I spent nearly a decade on active yards, and I've seen no more than 3 guard stabbings by prisoners. In 4-5 years on the SNY side, I've documented 7+ that I've actually seen. Prisoner assaults on guards are up also, not that it was the best way, it just occurred.

So if this criticizing comrade honestly wishes to help the overall goals of other comrades, maybe he should man up and spread the word instead of wasting his breath on things he doesn't know about well enough. Stop hindering comrades trying to do real helpful things. I may be on SNY but I help both actives & SNY. I'm literally responsible for 4 successful legal suits resulting in the state and CDCR paying out over $12.2 million dollars with over 3 of it going to active prisoners who were abused, including 2 illegal use of force and 1 wrongful death due to negligence.

I ask this other comrade "what have you done for the cause?" I still am in process of 3 other suits, 2 with fair possibilities of victory. Put your money where your mouth is comrade. One day you just may get called upon, one way or another. Both sides of the fence have their issues. But it's not really a problem unless comrades allow it to be, as this other comrade does.

MIM(Prisons) adds: For years, leaders in the lumpen organizations (LOs) in the California Prison system attempted to organize peace summits. These meetings were sabotaged by CDCR intelligence higher-ups, the leaders were further isolated in Security Housing Units, and many hand-picked leaders were given free reign in the mainline. Like we've said before, staying true to your LO does not necessarily mean staying independent of the K9s (the state). It is often the exact opposite. But it is also the case that the LOs are in such a sad state of affairs because of state intervention and manipulation. The LOs do have more potential than most are currently demonstrating, but they have already lost many of their best youngsters who have seen the current errors of their ways as this comrade has.

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[Organizing] [Montana] [ULK Issue 15]
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Boycotting work is unrealistic

In the May/June 2010 issue of ULK a Pennsylvania prisoner stated that he thinks everyone should stop working so the prison systems would look at our complaints. While I think my comrade has a great idea, I must conclude that it is a very unrealistic one. There simply aren't enough people willing to stand up for this cause. S/he was right in saying people care more about television than their rights. I ask MIM(Prisons) and my fellow brethren to give me, as well as everyone, some ideas on how we can make other prisoners come together to make our Pennsylvania brother's dream come true.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We did briefly address this point in the article "Our unity vs. their crisis" in the same issue of ULK. What many people are recognizing here is that we need to proceed in steps, and we must continually assess our conditions to see how fast we can move. Also, keep in mind that development is not equal across the board. So, while our Montana comrade is correct in general, this might not be true everywhere (see "Back to the basics"). But where it is not true the key is to start with things that can be done with smaller groups, such as lawsuits and study groups, or actions that require less commitment like petitions or fund drives. All of these things can help develop unity. We welcome ideas from others, but specifically ideas that you have tried and worked. Or if they didn't work tell us why. Ideas without testing in practice are a dime a dozen.

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[Medical Care] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 15]
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Pleas against brutality following suicide attempt

I write to you in regards to a sexual assault, battery and abuse that I am a victim of. I would have written to you sooner, but my resources are limited, and I have just very recently received your info and address from the psychological services staff here at the prison.

On April 13 I made a suicide attempt by trying to hang myself, which the officers here at the prison responded to by removing me from that unit and bringing me to DS-1, the segregation unit. As we arrived on the unit the officers asked me if I would comply with the strip search, to which I responded "I need help," referring to psychological help or treatment. As I stated no, one of the officers slammed my head into the steel shower door and I fell to the ground. After falling to the ground the officers piled on top of me and rolled me over on my stomach and began tearing and cutting my clothes off me. Then they spread my legs and arms out and the officers began to punch me and twist my arms and wrist behind my back. The officers also choked me and placed their knees on my back and in my face and told me to stop resisting, though I had never resisted, nor had I ever become physically or verbally abusive or hostile. After all this, the officers then began to poke and insert their fingers inside my anus and squeezed my testicles after lifting them up while laughing at me during this unlawful and unconstitutional assault.

I've written to numerous prison officials and have also spoken with several white shirt lieutenants about this matter and about being transferred to another institution because I'm not safe in this prison and the officers are still harassing me. I've done all that I can possibly do and now you are my very last and only hope for help. I respectfully ask you to please please please publicize my story.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We publish reports like this as a small service to some of the most oppressed people in the United $tates who send us these pleas. We hope that our readers are appalled by these injustices and driven to work harder to end imperialism. However, we also recognize the limitations of these moral appeals, and want to reiterate that for the oppressed who write these letters and hope for their conditions to change. Recently, USW comrades discussed the question of appealing to the emotional sympathies of the oppressor. In that discussion comrades recognized the primacy of class and national interests. Emotional appeals may strike a chord in a small minority who may commit class/nation suicide and fight for the oppressed. But overall, Amerikans are aware of what is going on and they support it, even if they don't like to think about it.

As one comrade put it, "we shouldn't base our strategy of building public opinion on whether we can guilt trip amerikans into not being parasites." Our strategy should be based on the vast majority of the world who are the victims of this parasitism. The difference for the oppressed is that they don't have a choice whether to think about the brutality of this system when they are seeing it on a daily basis. It is only a minority in the United $tates that faces this level of oppression, and that is the minority that should guide our strategies for anti-imperialist organizing here.

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[Legal] [State Correctional Institution Muncy] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 15]
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Obstruction of justice at SCI Muncy

I'm facing some harsh conditions here at SCI Muncy when it comes to fighting for what I believe in and our rights. I have several lawsuits against the DOC and pigs here, and I am constantly facing obstacles that they try to put in my way. One lawsuit I have is against the grievance coordinator of Muncy, Troy Edwards. This lawsuit is why Edwards does everything in his power to prevent me from exhausting my administrative remedies, so I can't sue him because of the requirements of the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act.

One trick Edwards uses is he tells me he doesn't get my grievances, when I know he really does get them. He stole numerous grievances, my lawyer's letter, and mail my mom sent to me. He had the search team confiscate all my property and legal work and it was never given back to me.

I was approved to take declarations (which is like a statement) from several prisoners here. One of the prisoners I requested to take a declaration from told me this: Edwards called h and about 5 other prisoners and told them I wanted to take their declarations. He continued to say it was a waste of their time because my lawsuits are frivolous, I don't have a lawyer, I am representing myself, and other bullshit! That scumbag bastard tried to deter these prisoners so they would refuse to let me take their declarations, and I would not have proof of my claims, which would lead to the prison winning judgment.

I was furious when I was told this, but I was not surprised at Edwards's pathetic attempts. He does this all the time! He and the superintendent backdate their grievance appeal responses so it looks like I am too late and I can't exhaust my administrative remedies. They also backdate their requests. They have this stamp they can rig to put any date they want on anything.

In December 2009 and January 2010 I sent over 19 grievance appeals and never got one response back. I kept writing this grievance coordinator and the superintendent and got nothing but run-arounds. Even a few of my initial grievances were not processed. Troy Edwards picks and chooses which grievances he does and doesn't want to answer. The ones he doesn't want to answer, he lies and says he never got them. I have copies, though!

Prisoners do not have a right to court-appointed lawyers for their civil suits against prison administration. When it's clear a prisoner needs one, the judge can appoint one. A good case I recommend you read if you are asking for a court-appointed attorney is Tabron v. Grace, 6F.3d 147, 155-58 (3d Cir. 1993).

MIM(Prisons) adds: One of the most active campaigns being led by United Struggle from Within comrades in a few states is to demand that prisoner grievances be heard. If one were to accept the pretexts of the existence of the U.$. "justice" system one would think they would want prisoners to have avenues to address any injustices or problems they face while incarcerated. Instead, we see the same story all over the country and the hypocrisy of the injustice system is exposed. While we appeal to those in power to recognize the importance of granting everyone basic humyn rights, we must organize the oppressed to demand those rights.

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[Organizing] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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SNY prisoner: How to stop snitching

I'm sad to say that the CDCR is winning the struggle so far. They have managed to keep us too paranoid to trust the next man. But every time a guard walks down the tier talking about one of us, spreading propaganda, the majority of the prisoners will believe what that guard said. It can be completely fabricated.

The guards also have other strategies to spread false propaganda. They'll walk to the loudmouth on the tier and for extra food he'll put out on the tier whatever the guard wants him to say. The loudmouth doesn't understand that whatever the guard wants him to broadcast is because the guards want to direct a message at certain individuals.

I'm a SNY prisoner. Over the years the SNY yards and population have grown a lot, especially with the level IV. The bottom line is we're all prisoners suffering the same oppression from guards. There's no such thing as I'm better than so and so, because I'm this and you're that. That's all propaganda from guards telling the mainline.

If someone snitches on you, that's your fault for exposing your hand to individuals you didn't trust or know. Any sensitive issue should never be told to anyone, anyways.

After being in Calipatria for 10 years and going through several problems with staff, I decided to get on the CCCMS program and make a quick exit out of that joint. The CCCMS is a mental program and once you get in the program and you take some type of depression medication the prison has 30 days to transfer you because it's so hot and any type of psych meds can't be taken in that climate. Well I got away from a bad dream only to go into a nightmare!

Since 70 or 80% of the population here in RJD prison are on some type of psych meds, we're considered "J-Kats." The 602 inmate appeals process is non-existent. Any serious grievance you filed gets thrown away: a violation of our constitutional due process!

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[Abuse] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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Suicide attempt leads to pepper spraying

On January 21, 2010 I was feeling suicidal due to facing an arson charge which could've given me a third strike and life in prison, when I only had less than 6 months until my parole date. In fact, it was my celly who had set the fire in order to get me emergency medical attention. I have severe and chronic back issues with several-inch-thick files documenting my issues. I stood up, my back gave out on me, and I fell and hit my head on the wall knocking myself partially unconscious. For over an hour my cellmate yelled "man down," "emergency," etc. The responding officer approached our cell, saw me laying unconscious on the floor, and said "I won't do shit because he's faking it." So my celly set fire to the cell in order to get attention for me.

I was later found not guilty of the arson due to my celly's admission to setting the fire, and medical documents supporting my claims. However, the following day, when still facing a third strike case, I was feeling suicidal and cut my left wrist in three places. When the first watch officer, Sgt. Limon, saw me he contacted Sgt. Badgett and he brought several officers with him including CO Lonczewsky. Limon and Lonczewsky asked to see my hands to verify they held no dangerous objects. My hands were empty and I was asked to stick my hands out of the food port.

However, these 2 officers are very corrupt. They claimed I was still trying to harm myself and ended up pepper spraying me with a can of Oleo Resin Capsicum (OC) spray. I spent 11 days in crisis bed afterwards. The COs assaulted and used excessive force on a prisoner in need of psychological help.

Since this incident I've filed a grievance against the officers but I can't even get a copy of the incident report. CDCR administrative officials know their personnel are in the wrong so they are trying to make it that much more difficult for me, and are finding stupid reasons to prevent me from obtaining any material to help in my future lawsuit. CDCR administration knows that I have helped at least 3 other prisoners win millions of dollars and that I am very capable of filing successful litigation. I have been granted $63,000 for medical negligence lawsuit.

Recently my cellmate had to get the attention of these same COs due to a possible suicide attempt in our neighbor's cell. Limon approached our cell and noticed my information tag. When he saw it he called for Lonczewsky to "come see who it is." After approaching our cell both officers asked my cellmate, "are you feeling suicidal?" "do you need to get sprayed too?" while shaking an OC spray can.

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[Medical Care] [Abuse] [Hoke Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 15]
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Sleep deprivation to control oppressed

I am currently in the hole, and on May 19 after the 6 p.m. shift change two second-shift Correctional Officers came on duty here on the lockup unit. Almost immediately these two COs began making their rounds, which was unusual. It seemed every few minutes one of them was knocking on our cell door asking if we were alright, which was certainly unusual. As the day turned into night I noticed these annoying visits did not stop. Around 11:40 p.m. I was awoken several times. I then asked the CO what was going on, why she keeps waking us up every few minutes. She advised me that the shift captain ordered that every prisoner in solitary will be awakened every 30 minutes to ensure no one slips into a diabetic coma. I was flabbergasted by their reasoning for depriving us of sleep.

This prison has recently become a medical unit, but not all of the prisoners here are sick; 75% of us are completely healthy. Nonetheless, there are 20 of us on lockup, and only one prisoner is diabetic. Around 2:30 a.m. the shift captain was making her rounds. I got her attention and I asked who authorized this new practice and its policy. She advised me that she was ordered by our current assistant superintendent that until further notice we shall be awakened every 30 minutes to assure we are responsive. We are suffering, and as a result of us being deprived of sleep we lack the sense of concentration. It seems our assistant superintendent can and does alter the rules at will. No one questions or challenges his decisions or his authority. Nonetheless, we just want the proper sleep we are entitled to. I filed a grievance on this issue with no reply as of yet. I want to let others know what we are going through here at Hoke Hell.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Hoke "Correctional" Institution's purpose is to "correct" and control the behavior of people who they see as a potential threat to their structure of domination. Sleep deprivation, just like psych meds, nutrient-lacking food, and environmental toxins, is one form of physically attacking the humyn brain, with potentially long-term health effects. It's a joke that this is common practice in places that claim to be about "correcting" people, when they are clearly about degrading people for easier control.

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[Control Units] [Florida] [ULK Issue 15]
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Rolling with the punches

I'm in disciplinary confinement for 300 days. I'm informing you to let you know they are all about punishment. However, there are several benefits to confinement as opposed to general population.

First, as an analytical thinker, I have the solitude to concentrate on what's more important, instead of the normal population activities of doing what Masta says and spending my people's money on the high-priced zoom zooms and wam wams. Second, I can think of ways to further the struggle and communicate with you all from within this "think tank." Last, regardless of where on the plantation I am, the clock still ticks, so 300 days is that much closer to my max date.

I'm getting much rest and I'm preserving my mind and body for the revolution and the future. So if I can help formulate any ideas and/or literature to help enlighten and educate the masses, just let me know.

It's a shame that these people try to make the public think they're all about trying to make prisoners better people so they'll be productive members of society, yet in confinement we are not allowed any books except a bible. We can't have a dictionary or any other book to educate your mind. It's obvious that they couldn't care less about our betterment when they use education material as a punishment.

They also use hygiene products as a punishment. In confinement I can't have my soap, lotion, toothpaste, dental floss, etc. They give us half of a hotel bar of soap to last a week, and a hotel toothpaste to last a month. So I'm only able to brush my teeth once a day or it won't last for 30 days. If food gets stuck in my teeth, I have to get a piece of string out of the sheets or boxers.

Socks are also not provided so the ones I came in with have to last 300 days. With no soap to wash them, I have to take an all-water shower once a week to save the soap to wash my boxers and socks. But hey, I'm learning survival skills and I'm stronger for it!

A weak mind will take this punishment or these conditions and feel degraded, but I often think about the conditions my ancestors endured on those slave ships, and the savage, degrading and humiliating conditions of life on these plantations under forced servitude and criminal bondage. Their only crime was being born with melanin in their skin. I think of how the Masta cut up a hog and took all the lean meat for ham, pork chops, bacon, and sausage, then threw the garbage to the slaves like the intestines, the feet, ears, tails, etc. Yet they made "soul food" with it. They made swamp grass into collard greens. And everything else that was used as punishment they used to become stronger, resilient, and more hardened to whatever the enemy came up with.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Adapting to whatever challenges the oppressor throws our way is an important part of survival under imperialism, including maintaining mental health. Long-term isolation is probably one of the greatest mental health challenges the oppressed will face. So we commend this comrade's positive outlook and willingness to do work, even though it is much more limited while locked in isolation.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California] [ULK Issue 15]
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The Animal Factory


The gaping jaw of the
prison industrial complex beckons,
grinding away basic human decency

Men forced into a blast furnace
of warehoused existence,
the ore of humanity smelted away
until only the dross remains

Kindness...compassion...love...
...all that defines one as human...obliterated.

Anger...resentment...despair...
...the remains of a once caring human.

Treated worse than rabid animals,
for are they not graced with a peaceful
death?
Animals are not stripped, forced to
parade around naked, mocked and
humiliated, flashlights beamed into
every orifice.

Animals are not caged in a
claustrophobic atmosphere, living
amidst a breeding ground of hatred
and rage.
Animals are not forced to survive
lives of mind-numbing tedium,
interspersed with moments of
chaotic violence.

Corrections & rehabilitation?
Corruption & retribution...
... closer to truth
human-form enters one end,
animal-form expelled out the other.

Take heed society, for these animals,
these human animals, shall one day
walk amongst you.
They are your creation,
created by societal apathy and
political fear-mongering,
created at your factories...

...the animal factories

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[Abuse] [Kansas] [ULK Issue 15]
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No longer suicidal, fighting for the revolution

I was reading ULK 13 about the Illinois prisoner driven to suicide and I understand why he seeks death. They say I'm very suicidal, but that was before I was enlightened by your publication. We have nothing to live for, but I say, but for the revolution. These imperialist and capitalist countries have been destroying the proletariat long enough. My fellow comrade has put in several cases against this prison to fix their new control unit they just modified. The windows are about 4 feet high and 4 to 6 inches wide, and they still placed bars across them. This is one of the new modifications to the Long Term Segregation (LTS) unit. They barricaded the door, so they said, because they were afraid it'd get kicked off the hinges. What a crock of shit. And this is going to be done to this small mental health prison of 400 crazy people including some minimum security on the hill. There is a suicide attempt daily here and all they do is lock us in a room, naked, for several hours before we get a security blanket. Then we have to wait and beg for a gown or other things like toilet paper. I had a long talk with the psych doctor explaining our torture but I got a deaf ear now that I stopped being stupid and going on crisis. They threaten to place me on LTS. They hear me speak to people in population, so I had only 20 days out before I was placed back in seg. I am currently on strike from taking medication I don't need, so I only take what they can force me to take, 1 pill out of 10 of my anti-psychotics. Brothers we can only dedicate this life to the revolution. The KKK have evolved from white hoods to SORT gear and chemical agents. We must unite and fight.

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[Spanish] [Texas] [ULK Issue 15]
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Rap Chicano y el lenguaje contra la asimilacón

Pensé escribir con respeto a su décima edición que recibí y disfrutí mucho. Con respeto al tema principal "hip-hop", el cual no soy aficionado, hice un buen reflejo a como la cultura dominante conocida como el angloamericano explota a las clases bajas, y/o, los grupos minorías. Aunque la cultura angloamericana es la más común en sus influencias, los capitalistas que forman parte de esta clase angloamerican no tienen respeto ni a su propia raza y cultura cuando se hablan del símbolo del dinero.

Siendo nacido en los años 50, yo formaba parte del movimiento de los derechos civiles para los Chicanos durante el período entre el medio de los años 60 hasta el comienzo de los años 70. Por eso, me dí cuenta de que mi raza estaba harto de la supresión de nuestro ser y cultura cometido por parte de los angloamericanos. Lo que la raza angloamericana queria de nosotros los habitantes del area sudoeste de los E.E.U.U. fue la asimilación cultural, ¡punto! La asimilación no funciona para la mayoria de nosotros, con solo un poco integrando en la sociedad angloamericana. Sin embargo, me preocupen esos pocos que se asimilaron. Estos "asimiladores" no hicieron nada más que imitar a otros que vivían antes los cuales olvidaban su propia cultura porque solo se interesaban tener conocimientos deliberados del proceso de asimilación angloamericano.

Antes de mi encarcelamiento en 1990, la música "rap" era muy conocida y ya se estaba entrando muy fuerte en los mayores ciudades metropolitanos de Texas. Mientras yo cumplía con mi sentencia en los añs 90, este típo de música progresé y evolucioné mucho. Observé que la rap estaba bien mirado y oído, con muchos de mi Raza imitando las expresiones (lenguaje) de la cultura hip-hop que estaba penetrando por todas partes de la sociedad del mundo libre hasta las instituciones penales. Me costó mucho trabajo saber que estos aficionados de rap no puedieron hablar, ni entender su propio lenguaje, español (ni siquiera el más util Spanglish, Cali, o Pachuco). Reflexionando en todo eso, me dí cuenta de que el culpable de esta forma astuto de asimilación angloamericano fue el capitalista angloamericano quien controla las medias de comunicación para el propósito de destruir cualquier cultura que no sea igual a la suya.

Aunque yo en este momento considero el rap "Chicano" que origina de California como una forma de luchar contra el proceso de asimilación, los capitalistas anglosajones no han adoptado ni aceptaron esta forma de "expresión" Chicano (ni "rap" Latino, en general). El autor o editor del trabajo escrito titulado "Hip Hop: Living Culture or Commodity?" en ingles o Hip-Hop: ¿Cultura viviente o mercancía? nos enseñó muy bien como un capitalista y la sociedad dominante angloamericano son capaces de destruir otras culturas cueste lo que cueste. Pero al leer esta composición, ví que el discurso no discutía como la comercialización angloamericano del "hip-hop" en el corriente principal tiene como agenda la eliminación del lenguaje cultural de cualquier persona.

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[Spanish] [Washington] [ULK Issue 15]
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Prisiones usando a agentes para descubrir a prisioneros activos

El estar confinado en este nuevo milenio me ha llevado a preguntarme a cerca de la inteligencia de los prisioneros que reciben beneficios del robo, la apropiación y las acciones criminales de aquellos encargados de hacer cumplir las leyes, normas y regulaciones. Aquí hay prisioneros que aceptan de los funcionarios de prisiones, revistas, libros y otros artículos de valor que pertenecen a otros prisioneros y sonríen y carcajean maliciosamente diciendo que aparecieron. Básicamente a expensas de otro prisionero. Es la misma vieja práctica utilizada con los presos desprevenidos una y otra vez para la ejecución del derecho. Son vistos como potenciales fuentes de información, los usan hasta que no sirven y los tiran de vuelta a los leones con el divertimiento acostumbrado.

Por más que lo intento, no puedo entender por qué un prisionero se sale de su camino para proporcionar a los vigilantes y oficiales de prisiones información que implica que ese prisionero sea miembro o esté asociado con una banda organizada de la prisión, de la calle u otro grupo perjudicial, y que automáticamente supone atención especializada y consideraciones acerca de su ubicación, que podrían incluir permanecer confinado indefinidamente en una Unidad de Máxima Seguridad hasta que ese individuo delata a sus compañeros, muere o sale bajo libertad condicional, sin embargo parece haber una nueva aceptación de todo esto.

Me hace gracia cuando veo a alguno de esos personajes jactándose y fanfarroneando de estar respaldados por las autoridades por ser miembros de una banda, mientras se aseguran de preguntar a otros, normalmente aprovechando la presencia de los “trajes de pepino”: “¿estás activo?”. Es como si el nuevo concepto de sistema penal no se tratase sólo de chismorrear a cerca de uno mismo, sino también de engañar a los demás para que chismorreen de sí mismos. Es como si el agente instigador de prisiones haya ganado aceptación y un simbolismo de nuevo estatus.

Cuando me preguntan si estoy activo, tengo que preguntar: “activo en qué?”, pues como ocurre con muchos otros conceptos del idioma inglés, se ha reducido a significar sólo una cosa para el idiotizado prisionero, pero en realidad significa algo significativamente más oneroso para los guardias. Y no es un secreto, pero muchos de los habitantes de la prisión tienen todavía que entender o darse cuenta de la importancia de estos conceptos e ideas que están siendo entretejidas en la estructura social de la fábrica de la prisión, forzando a muchos hombres de verdad a adoptar posiciones anti-sociales para permanecer lejos de la crucifixión.

No me pierdo demasiado, siendo un común habitante de la prisión con conciencia. Sin embargo he notado que hay demasiados idiotas que son aduladores de un antiguo concepto que ha mutado y se ha transformado en algo realmente malévolo. Uno tiene que volver a la idea número uno de “no confiar en nadie” con algo de alguna importancia. Aquellos que son de verdad uno puede adivinarlo, y aquellos que no, terminarán por descubrirse a sí mismos. Concienciaos a vosotros mismos y prestad atención, es todo lo que puedo aconsejaros en esta trampa del CDCR (siglas para el Departamento de Correcciones y Rehabilitación de California), en la que muchos no consideran la realidad de la lucha, y en su lugar practican la aceptación.

En lucha y solidaridad,

John Q. Convicto

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUI] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 15]
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Intentional deterioration of mental health in Arizona DOC

I am currently being housed in a maximum facility in the Arizona DOC where I've been confined to a one-man prison cell for over seven years in 23 hour a day solitary confinement. I was sentenced to precisely 156 years for taking up arms against a corrupt judicial system. One of my ultimate goals is to help shed some light on the inhumane environment that those of us in prison are subject to live in "generation after generation." Those of us who speak out against capitalist, imperialistic injustice are kept silent and retaliated against in prisons all across the world. We're kept isolated in boxes about the size of dog kennels for years. Rehabilitation only comes in the form of one's personal dedication of adopting a military mindset and achieving what is essential to keeping oneself afloat and not consumed by the burden of being taken for granted as human beings.

It's very common to become invisible in any society designed to desensitize and demoralize the average person, designed to corrupt and eat away at some of the greatest minds. Inevitably, the mental disease surrounding this establishment consumes the vulnerable-minded completely and has its effects on those stronger and competent minds. No amount of love or money can ever replace one's lost time or sanity. Oddly, some of these same people return back into society with no real plan on how to cope or withstand even the smallest pressures. Sadly, I witness people deteriorate on a daily basis while imprisoned, what could have been a short-term prison sentence often ends up a lifetime scar.

I've always resented the idea of one resorting to drugs as a means to emancipate oneself from the difficulties, but as you can see when dealing with the shamefulness of the imperialist system, I really do understand why my equals would rather be intoxicated than face a reality in which we're born into a cycle of destruction. However, one fact that will never change is that drug abuse only hinders and destroys one's personal experience to grow in strength and wisdom. Our ancestors weren't quitters nor cowards. We're skilled, imaginative, intelligent engineers and ultimately we adjust to our problems to overthrow our challenges. Yet we remain students to our own neglect; show us a meaningful purpose to our civilization and we will keenly follow.

In July 2003, I returned to the Arizona Department of Corrections to spend approximately 156 years behind bars for taking up arms against a corrupt Tuscon Police Department in self-defense. I was immediately placed in Arizona's super-maximum facility (SMU-I,(VCU)). SMU-I is a facility that publicly houses "the worst of the worst" special management prisoners. Prisoners are able to obtain some personal items but conditions in SMU-I are very restrictive and inhumane. I was housed in VCU, which is considered isolation within solitary confinement. Ordinarily, prisoners who are held in VCU are labeled disruptive while housed in SMU-I or have accumulated serious disciplinary violations while in prison. Most prisoners in VCU are labeled disruptive for choosing not to conform to the collective ways of the prisoncrats and in return are retaliated against.

One of the many tactics used by our oppressor is to place us in the tortuous shadows of the severely mentally ill to help break a person's spirit. I was placed in this unit upon my initial intake into the penitentiary, never once expecting for my oppressors to provide me due process before being admitted into this unusual world. During this particular part of my life a lot of soul-searching was done and ultimately strength was gained. These teachings have allowed me to fully comprehend my ancestry's mantra of "what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger." For long periods of time I debated with the idea of suicide. It was at my lowest point in total darkness and hopelessness that my eyes were truly illuminated to the ways of this injustice system. At this point I chose to continue my life, to have life. The nightmares that keep me from advancing forward, I've confronted and compromised with. But as you can imagine, I found myself in a tight spot, being the VCU unit.

I was placed on a gurney while four correctional officers escorted me to my new cell. I was strip searched, placed in extra-tight handcuffs with an additional dog chain that offered my captors an object to manipulate.The officers who were escorting me decided it was essential to assert themselves aggressively. I was pushed face down on the gurney and was advised if I looked sideways or moved even just slightly I'd be pepper-sprayed, tazed and neutralized by the police K9. I knew in the back of my mind this was a familiar tactic embraced internationally by my oppressors so I closed my eyes and kept my mouth shut. It is these types of incidents that inspire me to vigorously overcome fierce adversity. In prison, life goes on but one never gets comfortable with the demeaning environment, the torture, the food poisoning, the searches, the depression, the yells, and the screams. It is what brainwashes us into what we are.

I was wrongfully convicted by a judicial system that clearly favors the police, the state's prosecutor, and biased, corrupt judges. My best friend, my little brother and myself are all sentenced to die in an institution that shows no compassion. This is the same institution that as a child you become so dreadful of as you watch your father travel through the same system. Just when I thought my childhood couldn't become any more tragic, reality set in. The temperatures in solitary confinement have a strong tendency of remaining freezing cold; my captors figure if we stay under our blankets all day, wishing upon falling stars, the odds of becoming productive prisoners will diminish. I say productive in the sense that we as prisoners should take up the obligation of combating what is inhumane within the injustice system. This becomes a lifetime struggle while imprisoned. What actually appears to be meaningless, in the long haul is actually morally fulfilling. Yet challenging! What we consider to be productive, our captors refer to as "disruptive." In the end all we want is equal opportunity.

Many tactics and well practiced strategies are put up like road blocks. This has given our captors an everlasting advantage. One important method of abuse is the placement system. Our captors have the authority to move prisoners at will. The sycophants usually end up in "Disneyland" while the "disruptive" end up in "Alaska". With this tactic our captors maintain control. The majority of prisoners housed in VCU are seriously mentally ill. Banging on cell doors creates insomnia, the lights stay on all the time, and some prisoners become extremely delusional and schizophrenic. Mental illness has a strong desire to befriend the next prisoner's addiction, as if the air was contaminated with dementia. All different types of crazed thoughts are fabricated in these prisoners' minds, where everyone around you acts suspiciously like an assassin. These types of delusions commonly progress and eventually their pressures become too overbearing to hold inside, forcing these prisoners to act out. Prisoners lose their minds and begin mutilating themselves to ease their mental pain. Suicide is still viewed as cowardly, but some are too overwhelmed to escape its treacherous snares.

The main instigators are often the ones who are employed to implement corrections. They introduce this type of behavior to intensify the mental strain, giving the vulnerable a reason to simply attend to their anger, frustration and pain. Sometimes they even use seduction as a defense mechanism or to infiltrate the lumpen organizations to create conflict. This misconduct usually creates disagreements, cell extractions and the like. I myself have continuously remained in long-term isolation. No effective adjustment programs have ever been offered to us in this Arizona maximum facility, so obviously this type of behavior continues to worsen. The truth is solitary confinement is creating its own demise. Since I have been in isolation, the VCU ward I spoke of has been deemed unconstitutional by the higher courts and has publicly been shut down.

I am grieving the techniques implemented by the Arizona Department of Corrections in regards to long-term isolation without adequate recourse for mental health treatment. It is detrimental to one's comprehensive health and in due time deteriorates one's ability to function as a human. ADOC utilizes a detrimental structure which it abuses in its discretion to maintain order, rather than to address rehabilitation/recidivism concerns. Long-term isolation without adequate and the effective recourse increases the risk for prisoners to develop extensive mental health disorders and physical health problems as well. This also recruits and increases additional mental health cases for those prisoners isolated amongst the severely mentally ill population for long periods of time. ADOC has neglected to provide adequate mental health services in their maximum custody facilities. What this atrocity does to the environment is create a breeding ground for psychosis. ADOC has strongly neglected to conform its system to reduce recidivism and in fact has demonstrated through their actions, a crime against humanity by converting prisoners into mental health patients, consciously capitalizing on prison enterprise by neglecting to provide adequate recourse for their maximum facilities. This makes prisoners worse off than when we initially arrived, creating a more fortified cycle of sociopaths. This is a logical fact and is very inhumane. Without the adequate learning tools this process is going to keep creating insanity.

Also see An Alternative to the SHU
and U.S. Prisons Prove Maddening

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