Under Lock & Key Issue 44 - May 2015

Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [United Front] [ULK Issue 44]
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A Day of Solidarity, September 9th

Prisoners day - September 9th - must be kept silent no more. This particular day, marking its ground breaking appearance on 9 September 1971, is making a slow steady trod towards mass movements and prisoner organizations from the east coast to the west.

Any prisoner subscribing to Under Lock & Key, or the variety of political newsletters free to prisoners, can attest to the constant reminders of the one day that prisoners stood up in unity to get shot down, and lifted back up year after year. For many who are familiar with the Attica uprising, just hearing the name Attica reawakens the stories told about the protest back east, where a select few brothers of a mixture of lumpen organizations were put in a position to stand for something and not just fall for anything. A protest from which many political prisoners take inspiration today in their thirst for freedom. Attica became legendary.

Many prisoners were forced into the tombs of the beast, known as the control unit facilities, for their commitment to keeping alive the memory of the day that history was made by prisoners struggling for a common cause. These prisoners forced into the tombs of the beast, who spoke from the grave to the injustice of the system, became the silent force of an already nuclear-reactor-type vibration within U$ prisons.

As time went on so then did the minds and movements of the masses, its leaders, and the lumpen organizations charged with serving the interest of the prisoners. The lines of the parties involved with commemorating the anniversary of Attica were crossed and compromised. The dream of rehabilitation and reforms set many in backward positions compliant to the interest of the enemy of the prisoners, the state.

Details of the September 9 uprising and certain individuals involved began meaning less and less. The historical facts, leadership, and goals became gossip of he said she said, your homie got my father killed.

The state understood the importance of stemming the tide with the tactic of division, thus a line was drawn between the political prisoner and the prisoner just trying to do their time and get back to what they knew as freedom. The latter wanted nothing to do with the former, as these old timer political prisoners were viewed as extreme in their ideas and objectives. The former, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with the latter, who at each turn of the age began to appear as a type of foreman, respecting the privileges and rewards for the good behavior of not upsetting the system. Even to this day these lines are the principal contradiction between the prisoner mass and the few political leaders.

Attica served as an example to both sides of the fence. Power is in people's unity. With the support of the people at Attica in 1971, time stood still long enough for prisoners to occupy the prison yard and a few dorms. In a stand off with state police, prisoners demanded to be afforded humyn decency.

The end result was the murders of many who knew they had nothing to lose but their chains. Attica's effect is on all prisoners. Attica's effect lives with prisoners even today. Let prisoners refresh their memories in as many uprisings as possible with peace as the objective.

It is not at this time that prisoners should be waging war with each other. Nor should we, in the United $tates, be taking up armed struggle. We must learn that prisoners must not prey on other prisoners with exploitative practices that result in the beefs that go beyond prison yards and effect more than just the local factions. But prisoners must consider the conditions of the entire class which it is rooted in and decide what direction it as a whole will move in.

Attica gave birth to many many great prisoner demonstrations and prison uprisings across the United $tates. More recently in Texas, California, North Carolina, and Georgia, just to name a few.

The day of solidarity is rooted in a reality that prisoners must at some points and time, for a specific frame of time, put to the side their differences in order to pool the energy and resources for the causes that contribute to tearing down this system as they know it. And after that, if they want to go back to their state of parasitic lifestyles, then they can take it up with the people.

The September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity is the prisoner's memorial day; the convict holiday. It is the one day that prisoners as a whole can safely cross the lines of divide that have been expanded over the ages of time. Prisoners at this time can become festive in their anticipation of the entertainment, education, application and advocation of a vocal prisoner mass speaking up and out to the injustice of the U.$. prison system.

USW invites all those who have committed to the five principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons to participate in the coming September 9 celebrations. Submit high quality artwork to our Strugglen Artist Association to be printed and circulated within your prison, spreading the message of peace on September 9. Our comrades MIM(Prisons) offer political books free of charge that your group can study and write or draw your interpretations of the reading. You can even just write a statement describing the nature of your local September 9 celebration program.

It is now the age of speak up speak out for prisoners. If prisoners can build upon their shared experiences like the uprisings in the past, their voices can speak to their interests aligned with the internationally oppressed, and begin upsetting the system one state at a time.

Then and only then will the power be reinstated in the leadership who are most capable of representing the interests of the whole, without fear of retaliation or repression for their leadership roles. The September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity prepares all prisoners for the day that all must make the decision of whether they'll stand up for something or fall for anything.

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[Theory] [New Afrikan Black Panther Party] [ULK Issue 44]
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Study Logic, Don't End Up Like Rashid

Recently, Rashid of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party - Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC) published a long criticism of MIM(Prisons) titled "MIM or MLM? Confronting the Divergent Politics of the Petty Bourgeois 'Left' On the Labor Aristocracy and Other Burning Issues in Today's Revolutionary Struggle." Rashid poses as an authority on our organization's line, practice and history but it should be readily apparent that he does not even have a base understanding of our organization or even of Maoism. It is an outrageously unscientific attack, a deceitful and slanderous piece.

For those who want Rashid's criticism with our point-by-point response ("100 Reasons Why Rashid Needs to STFU About MIM(Prisons)") and a list of suggested study material on the many topics referenced you can get a copy from us for $4 or work-trade. If you have a hard time distinguishing between MIM(Prisons) and the NABPP-PC, as many do, then you should study this material until the differences are obvious.

It is useful to use this as a teaching moment on how to provide scientific leadership. In particular, we encourage everyone to study logic and logical fallacies as a part of learning to think scientifically. Here are a few basic principles which we found severely lacking in Rashid's polemic:

1. Mao taught us "no investigation, no right to speak." Rashid's long attack on MIM(Prisons) gets many points wrong about our political line. These points are found clearly in the literature we distribute free to prisoners and have readily available on-line. A significant portion of his polemic focuses on the membership requirements for our study groups, for United Struggle from Within (USW) and for MIM(Prisons), sloppily confusing them all, and spreading misinformation in the process.

2. Correctness of ideas must be assessed independent of who says them. Rashid defends his criticism of the labor aristocracy line by accusing MIM(Prisons) comrades of having petty-bourgeois backgrounds. MIM(Prisons) could be Satan, but that doesn't mean there's no labor aristocracy. This approach is a political bullet to the head, and is a fallacy of irrelevance.

3. A lot of Rashid's article is baiting for information about MIM(Prisons). Whether intentional or not, this is pig work. We do not give out any information that the pigs could use to assess or destroy our movement. And anonymity isn't just about security, it's also about teaching people to think scientifically rather than follow the persyn with the right skin tone or haircut. We are against identity politics, which are too easily controlled by the oppressor. People who buy into identity politics also defend Obama just because he's Black.

4. Taking a scientific conclusion about a group and then applying it to individuals or small segments of that group is called an "ecological fallacy" and is a basic statistical error. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Maoists spent much time combatting this tendency, because people were attacking others based on their family's class background. Sociology as a science allows us to predict things with a certain probability. We can say that the petty bourgeoisie as a class has particular interests, and therefore it is very likely that an inidividual from that class will defend that interest. But that likelihood is less than 100%.

Educational Urgency

This criticism from Rashid, as baseless as it is, does highlight the urgency of getting our interactive glossary finally available on-line, and sending it to our readers behind bars. It also underlines the importance of sending literature to our subscribers and conducting study groups, whether led by MIM(Prisons) or by USW comrades.

Like most prisoners, Rashid does not have easy access to our website, and he's only able to access literature from us that the prison mailroom permits him to have. We have no reason to believe Rashid has received or read any of the most fundamental material on our political line, which is perhaps an error on our part. He criticizes our class definitions, and in criticizing them completely misrepresents them. Our class definitions have been made public to prisoners with most clarity in the booklet Fundamental Political Line of the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. This booklet was published in March 2012 and contains all our class definitions spelled out in paragraph form. Additionally, we send a short list of these definitions to all new subscribers. It would be overkill to expect us to provide a full definition each time we use a word, as Rashid seems to require. Our last response to Rashid was written assuming he had access to definitions of our political line, perhaps another error on our part.

In our newsletter Under Lock & Key, we publish economic analysis, mostly regarding class relationships in the First World. Rashid's most recent criticism of MIM(Prisons) suggest that he does not read ULK. It's unclear to us if Rashid has read any contemporary material on the labor aristocracy; whether by MIM(Prisons), Ehecatl, or Zak Cope. [Update: Rashid has since published a criticism of Zak Cope's book Divided World Divided Class on his website. Similar to his critique of MIM(Prisons), he does not actually engage any of the evidence provided by Cope. For those who are interested in some good material on the labor aristocracy question you'd be better off reading the debate that Zak Cope had with labor-aristocracy denier Charles Post.]

Defining Mass Work

Rashid claims MIM(Prisons) has no mass work to speak of. He thinks the labor aristocracy should be our mass base, and we think they are enemies of the international proletariat, so it makes sense that MIM(Prisons) would not engage in what Rashid would consider mass work.

Assuming for a moment that we do agree on a mass base, how would Rashid even know what MIM(Prisons)'s practice is amongst those masses? Rashid doesn't engage in our study groups, doesn't write articles for ULK, and doesn't participate in United Struggle from Within (USW) campaigns, or any other prisoner-based projects we facilitate. Rashid claims our organizing with prisoners is either (a) nonexistent or (b) taking advantage of a vulnerable population. If by "vulnerable" he means "not completely bought off by the spoils of imperialism" and "having a direct material interest in overthrowing imperialism and destroying Amerikkka," then yeah.

For as much as Rashid is out of touch with our prisoner organizing, he is ten times more out of touch with the organizing we do outside of prisons. As a security-conscious organization, we don't publicize where, when, or how much organizing we do outside of prison. Yet Rashid claims to be an expert on our practice, and claims we have none. This sort of baseless shit-talking is another logical fallacy, as it still does not address the labor aristocracy question. Rashid spends much time trying to make us look bad, while avoiding actually having to make sound arguments against our political line.

Importance of Class Background

True or not, Rashid's petty-bourgeois accusations are not that exciting. Here are some facts which should not surprise anyone: MIM(Prisons) operates in the United $tates. MIM(Prisons) comrades are not in prison. MIM(Prisons) comrades have time to devote to revolutionary study and work. At least some MIM(Prisons) comrades have money to donate to purchasing, publishing and mailing books and newsletters to prisoners for free. At least some MIM(Prisons) comrades are fluent in writing and reading the English language. Considering the vast majority of the U.$. population is petty bourgeois (which includes the labor aristocracy, which Rashid calls the proletariat), it doesn't take a stroke of genius to assume that at least some MIM(Prisons) comrades are likely petty bourgeois.

Class backgrounds certainly play a role in subjective political orientation, and that's where class suicide comes in. Just as we try to encourage members of the lumpen class to abandon their petty-bourgeois tendencies and align themselves (against their immediate material interests) with the international proletariat, we also encourage members of the labor aristocracy, petty bourgeoisie, and bourgeoisie to commit class suicide and work in favor of the international proletariat. In Rashid's studies of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, we're surprised he didn't also pick up the principle that criticizing an individual based on their class background is a textbook error.

The important question is, does our work do more to support the international proletariat, or more to support the First World classes (including the bourgeoisie, petty-bourgeoisie, and labor aristocracy)? Rashid says MIM(Prisons) comrades should commit class suicide. Yet we are the ones actively campaigning to redistribute wealth away from the country we live in, while the NABPP-PC allies with the labor aristocracy oinking for more.

Scientific Approach to Revolutionary Work

Below are a couple excerpts from our annotated response to Rashid's criticism:

Rashid: MIMP admits choosing prisoners because they prove most receptive to its ‘leadership’ which in essence means MIMP has latched onto a particularly vulnerable and desperate social group(1), an isolated group whose severely miserable predicament leaves them desperate(2) for any sympathetic ear and tending to be less critical of those who present themselves as sympathetic. Also prisoners generally lack political awareness and training and access to the voluminous Marxist and relevant works. So they are least suited to critically challenge MIMP’s Maoist representations.(3)

MIM(Prisons): 1. Patronizing. 2. Desperate for change. How is the proletariat better than this? 3. We distribute these materials for free to any prisoner in the United $tates who is genuinely interested. Our work-trade standards are just to help us determine who will make the best use of these resources, so we aren't sending them to people who will just throw them in the trash. Send us work (art, article, organizing report, etc) and engage with us and we'll send you plenty of free study materials with no strings attached. So to say we try to keep prisoners in the dark so that they can't criticize us is just bullshit.(p. 10)

Rashid: Contrary to Stalin’s admonition, MIMP neither has its feet planted within the masses, nor is it willing to "listen to the voices" of its followers, or anyone else for that matter. A point we should look at closer, from a Maoist standpoint.

MIM(Prisons): What is the evidence that we don't listen to our followers? We definitely don't listen to the enemy class, as that is not the masses. We don't aim to organize the labor aristocracy but we are in very close contact with lumpen masses. The only "evidence" Rashid presents in this essay to prove that we don't listen to the lumpen are (a) that we don't accept his "class analysis" of classes in the United $tates, and (b) that we removed someone from our study group because they had clear dividing line differences with us that we were not going to change, see below. These are two people we tried to struggle with at length and determined to have dividing line differences with us. We struggle with the lines represented by these two entities (Rashid and Ruin) continuously in the pages of Under Lock & Key, which is more efficient than one-on-one struggle, especially in this case. And they are more than welcome to keep writing to us and keep receiving ULK for free forever. But no, we're not likely going to reneg on our six main points which define our organization.(p. 12)

Rashid lacks an understanding of the importance of organizational structure and political standards. Liberalism on our 6 main points for membership in our organizations would be the antithesis of providing scientific leadership. This is MIM(Prison) clearly drawing lines around political questions that we think are most important to advancing the revolutionary struggle at this time. To those who oppose this scientific approach to revolutionary organizing, we suggest you may be better off working with another group. There are plenty of organizations out there that will accept anyone as a member, regardless of political line or ability to think critically, and which are happy to debate whether 2+2=4 endlessly. We will provide the doubters plenty of political resources that explain how we know 2+2=4, but we won't waste our time, or limited ULK space, on unscientific people who insist the answer is 3.

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[Idealism/Religion] [Theory] [ULK Issue 44]
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Talks about Sovereignty: A Scientific Approach

Sovereign Citizen white nationalists
The sovereign citizens movement has become among the top domestic terrorist groups on the FBI's list in the United $tates for refusing to cooperate with the government. People of this movement assume an artificial independence as a nation and refuse to file taxes, carry any type of license or hold a social security card. Question is, where does the anti-imperialist movement stand with these individuals and how does their approach to liberation compare to that of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

It is reported that more than 300,000 people are self-declared sovereign citizens in the United $tates, and it is predicted to be one of the fastest growing movements in U.$. history.(1) So it is a reasonable question to ask whether these people are on to something or not.

It appears that the sovereign citizens movement is currently one of a mixture of oppressed nation lumpen, bourgeois nationalists and petty bourgeois organizations across the United $tates. For example, among those claiming to be sovereign citizen organizations are the New Afrikan groups like the Moorish Nation, the Mawshakh Nation of Nuurs and the Washitaw Nation, both Islamic and Hebrewic. Then there are the white nationalists responsible for publications and broadcasting programs for the movement: From the Embassy of Heaven, The Aware Group, the Republic of Texas, Rightway LAW, Freedom Bound International and Amen-Ra BTO, Inc.; and personalities like David W. Miller, Charles Weisman, Alfred Adask, George Gordon and Brent Johnson.

Lumpen class in search of answers

The talk of sovereign citizens in prison was first heard by the author in 2009, promoted by a variety of lumpen prisoners professing to be card-holding members of the jailhouse lawyers National Lawyers Guild. They claimed to possess the mysterious knowledge, which utilized in U.$. courts could result in riches from financial settlements, as well as the potential of an early release for prisoners who have learned the craft of cracking the code described as redemption.

Lumpen in the United $tates, in general, are always looking for a come up, but they rarely consider at what cost will they come up. They, in general, believe that if they can just grow their underground economy they can free themselves. This viewpoint is a product of the lumpen's relationship to capitalism as belonging to internal semi-colonies. Lumpen are excluded from the prosperous imperialist economy overall, yet given tastes of that wealth via these underground economies that also provide an illusion of acting outside of the system. It seems that the popularity of the sovereign citizens movement in prisons can be explained this way, the difference being that it actually claims to be based in law.

With its promises of wealth, stature, independence and self-control, lumpen prisoners are not blamed for lining up to receive what they've been conditioned to know as being freedom. However, they are cautioned that everything that glitters isn't gold. What we see at play is the principal contradiction that defines the lumpen class in our society: the individualist tendencies to come up at the expense of others that are required of an excluded class in a capitalist economy, and the need for collective action to overcome those conditions and attain true freedom. We even see the New Afrikan organizations promoting the ideas of sovereign citizenship have borrowed from the ideas of national liberation movements as well. But rather than fight for national liberation of New Afrika, they define their nation in opportunistic ways as if a nation is something that any group of people can just create out of thin air. We recognize nations as scientific phenomena, that exist in the real world and are defined as a group of people with a common culture, territory, language and economy.

It is important that lumpen prisoners begin to pick out the right things, that which they have persynally tested, inspected, researched and referenced to reality in the method of dialectical materialism. Lumpen prisoners have a problem in the areas of these last four key words: tested, inspected, researched and referenced. This failure is the main cause of the material circumstances leading to the divisions between the individualist lumpen prisoners vs. the self-sufficient collective of prisoners struggling for liberation within the movement towards national independence.

Too often lumpen prisoners get something, or hear of something from another inmate and they just run with it, spreading something that they are unfamiliar with and misinforming others. The sovereign citizens movement has benefited from this tendency.

What is sovereign citizens about?

Lumpen prisoners of white oppressor nation origins probably can describe a more definitive history of this movement beginning somewhere in the 1960s to challenge the legitimacy of U.$. tax laws and the U.$. government itself. It is doubted whether most oppressed nation prisoners can describe the founding groups, from Oregon and California, like the Posse Comitatus, which is based in extreme, unrealistic white supremacy.

The philosophy of the sovereign citizens movement is based in the theory that the U.$. government is operating as a fraud commercial entity that is bankrupted and indebted to foreign nations. Many sovereign citizens movement groups subscribe to this idea in that the original U.$. government was that of colonial Amerika based in British common law as a de jure government. After the civil war there supposedly developed a secondary government de facto of its previous state-based governments of settlers.

When they say de jure, they mean legal and therefore legitimate. In contrast, de facto means that it exists but it is not official. It is common to refer to a de facto government after a civil war to imply that things have not been settled and brought back to order. What that order is, is of course a political question in itself. The dictatorship over the capitalists in the south by the capitalists of the northern states after the civil war was a progressive one that marked the end of slavery and forced integration on the white settlers, though much of the progress on integration was later turned back by reactionary forces and proved an overall failure. Therefore, to question the legitimacy of the post-civil war government in the United $tates has a clear connection to this ongoing reactionary movement for white supremacy in North America. While these forces see independence and state's rights as a means of maintaining their national privilege, the internal semi-colonies are attracted to national liberation struggles (and therefore other politics of local control) as means of ending the national oppression that is the other side of the dialectical coin. To have an oppressor nation, you must have at least one oppressed nation.

Many sovereign proponents, like the Whitten Printers, have broken down the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.$. Constitution to the least common denominator. They argue that it was created by the de facto government in order to nationalize Black slaves and afford free Black slaves with comparable rights of the unalienable Constitutional rights of white settler state citizens, leading us to question whether they are reading from the same history books as the rest of us struggling for self-determination.

These sovereign citizens hold that they are not subject to the nationalization process to become federal citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment de facto government because they weren't slaves, they aren't colored, and they never signed into any contract agreements with the de facto government. Basically, they are royal citizens holding on to the good ol' days of the British colonies. Ain't that cute.

Critics of the sovereign citizens theory assert that it fails to sufficiently examine the context of the case law from which they cite and ignore adverse evidence, such as The Federalist No. 15, where Alexander Hamilton expressed the view that the Constitution placed everyone persynally under federal authority. And as the Fourteenth Amendment itself reads, in part:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”(2)

Additionally,
“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”(3)

All oppressed nation prisoners must be aware of these facts before they allow themselves to be rallied into support for a movement like the sovereign citizens. The sovereign citizens movement is a white oppressor nation movement whose interest is directly in conflict with yours. They want to preserve imperialism at the cost of your independence and self-determination. National liberation from the imperialist states is in the interest of all lumpen prisoners, and the best way to effect this objective is for all the semi-colonies of the United $tates to support national liberation struggles of the oppressed.

We must also remind comrades that the fascist movement in Italy and the Nazi movement in Germany were appealing to a primarily dissatisfied petty bourgeoisie as well as lumpen and proletarian elements with rhetoric against the state, the bankers and big businesses at the time with some nonsensical religious ideas mixed in and lots of chauvinism. In the event of further imperialist crisis, if the imperialists are pushed to take a fascist approach to managing the people and economy, the sovereign citizens and similar movements will be the ready made mass movements that provide the footsoldiers for such a project. The oppressed peoples of the world must combat this with proletarian internationalism and dialectical materialism and break free of the ignorance that allows us to be suckered by the false claims of such groups.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We want to give Loco1 props for working on this review of the sovereign citizens movement. S/he was one of a number of comrades who have written us about it. And as a very active leader in USW we asked h to write a critique of the ideology behind the movement. Loco1 was hesitant at first for lack of information and knowing where to start.

While limiting access to information helps prevent ideological unity across the imprisoned lumpen, this article goes to show the greater importance of method. Loco1 was able to spearhead this critique with limited resources at h fingertips, but using an analytic approach.

Some of the appeal of the sovereign citizens and similar right-wing anti-government movements is based in an appeal to authority, where they cite a bunch of case law in an effort to convince you that they know what they are talking about. But this reliance on caselaw itself is idealism. It is similar to those who search for answers in ancient religions, as if there is a secret out there that just needs to be found and it will solve all our problems. This is appealing, it is a theme that sells many movies and books, but it is not reality. A real way to solve problems is to understand reality, the contradictions that make it up, and how things are moving so that we can transform reality. No one has been liberated by sovereign citizen paperwork, because it is just words on paper, and words on paper cannot magically liberate you from a real system that is made up of millions of people.

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[U.S. Imperialism] [Militarism] [ULK Issue 44]
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Imperialism Alive and Well in Support of U.$. Military

30 March 2015 - As ordered by the Federal government, the U.$. Army must reduce Amerika's active-duty soldier ranks by more than 40,000 by 2017. Recently, here in Alaska, a state which, since its colonization and subsequent possession by the United $tates, has been very heavily subsidized by government funding, large crowds of predominantly white petty-bourgeoisie turned out to demonstrate and rally against the military cuts. The reason? Some 10,000 troops and their families may leave the state, causing 1 billion dollars in losses to the state economy.(1) In other words, large groups of social parasites, living off the largess of their imperial overlord in Washington and the Pentagon, and the sub-parasites who feed off the primary parasites' existence, stand to lose their stable and guaranteed incomes and relatively high standards of living (gained mainly from the oppression and exploitation of the Third World and enforced by the same military) and may need to find other ways to support themselves.

The "Rally For Our Troops," attended by more than 400 people, was organized by Anchorage, Alaska-based business, civic and municipal organizations and was aimed at sparing cuts to Anchorage's joint base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state, and in the so-called "worst-case scenario," as many as 10,800 troops and 19,000 dependents could be forced to depart, amounting to a loss of about 4 percent of Alaska's population.(1) This is not surprising, as some estimates place the amount of the working population associated with government employment as high as 60%.

Of course, the event began with a resounding display of the imperialists' early indoctrination and brainwashing of the young through a performance of a local middle school's Drum Corps and Flag Team, accompanied by hundreds of others waving little Amerikan flags and cheering. After the initial show, the discussion began around convincing the four-person army committee present of the "strategic importance" of the main unit (4th brigade/25th infantry combat team).

The local community concern over losing Army Combat Brigades is economic. It could cost the state 1 billion dollars in economic impact, according to Bill Popp, Anchorage Economic Development corporation President and one of the rally coordinators.(1) That, along with the expected population decrease aforementioned, is the overriding concern for businesses and many concerned participants. Hence, we are here confronted with a major historic and pernicious problem with such outlooks: that being the insipid and persistent factor of self-interest and economic dependence of a large percentage of the Amerikan labor aristocracy on the continuation and preservation of imperialism and its most oppressive and pervading manifestation, the military industrial complex.

The labor aristocracy's support of imperialism coupled with the strategic concerns of the ruling class in perpetuating global capitalist domination via military and political power are two of the biggest foes of the international proletariat in achieving socialist revolution and change in the world today. The front-line defense of any existing, regular administration and order of imperialist rule is its police and regular army, and will be deployed against the will of the revolution when it comes. It will undoubtedly obey its political and economic masters. History is replete with examples of the U.$. military being unleashed not only on the international proletariat to further the interests of the imperialists in their unceasing quest for strategic domination and natural resource/labor exploitation, but also on internal colony repression and domestic discontent control. The U.$. military, just as much as the prison system, is an inherent and vital mechanism for social control and the protection of the established order.

Historical instances abound around the world where the military and U.$. troops were used to break workers' strikes, put down political and social demonstrations, and help corporate power exploit and repress the working class and quash popular discontent with governmental policy. Often times they use quite brutal and violent means and tactics, including blatant murder of citizens, armed or not. Troops have also been used to entrench and enforce racial and economic inequality and conserve the status quo.

To illustrate a few examples of domestic military oppression: from very early on, continuing right through to almost the mid-20th century and including sporadic examples even in the present day, the military was very frequently called out to suppress and eliminate labor disputes and strikes all over the United $tates at the bidding of their corporate masters in Washington. This occurred primarily in the days when a true economic and political proletariat existed within the U.$. borders. One example of this type of domestic military oppression was the infamous "Ludlow Massacre" of 1914, in which the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation, owned by the Rockefeller family, used murder, beatings, imprisonments and gun attacks to break the strike of thousands of deplorably-exploited foreign-born miners, employing the Army National Guard to do so. At one point, the National Guard opened fire with machine guns on an encampment housing hundreds of women and children, which resulted in the deaths of 11 children and 2 wimmin after the Guard set fire to their tents with torches.(2) Less than 60 years later, another Rockefeller was responsible for the brutal Attica prison massacre, once against perpetrated by the Army National Guard.(3)

During the civil rights era, military attacks occurred against Black demonstrators repeatedly, such as happened in Watts, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago, with numerous accounts of brutality committed on peaceable demonstrators and even mere bystanders. In Ohio, college students demonstrating against the imperialist Vietnam War were mowed down by Federal troops. The list of such barbaric and repressive actions against U.$. citizens by military agencies is far too long to include here, but just these few examples should show succinctly how willing and ready U.$. military forces can and will be in violently confronting anyone who poses any challenge to the Amerikan status quo and imperialist agenda.

Even soldiers themselves can become victims of imperialist greed. In both the Vietnam and Iraq wars thousands of veterans were for years denied medical care or even recognition of numerous insidious maladies, many life-threatening, resulting from munitions or chemicals used by the military in those wars: Agent Orange in Vietnam, uranium=tipped shells and inoculations for chemical warfare in Iraq, and other causes of "Gulf War Syndrome" in Iraq. Of course, all this says nothing for the countless thousands of indigenous victims of these brutal wars of imperialist oppression, many civilians and children, who get no help at all from the Amerikan government since such statistics aren't kept by the Pentagon.

The imperialists create new threats and dangers to justify ongoing funding to the already enormous Amerikan military. The "Cold War" and the "War on Terror" are just two examples of these excuses for maintaining a hugely bloated military establishment. As leftist political commentator Noam Chomsky wrote: "the appeal to security is largely fraudulent, the Cold War framework having been employed as a device to justify the suppression of independent nationalism - whether in Europe, Japan or the Third World." As Maoists, we recognize that it includes the suppression of internal colonies within the United $tates as well.

Of course, the biggest threat to any revolutionary movements is the standing army, which reactionary and counter-revolutionary factions and governments will not hesitate to use, unleashing military personnel and arms against citizens who pose any threat or challenge to the establishment. As was seen in the 1917 Russian Revolution, reactionary generals such as Kornilov and Kaledin initiated counter-revolutionary attacks against the newly-formed Soviets, and the Western imperialist powers inserted military forces in an intervention aimed at undermining the socialists and keeping Russia embroiled in the inter-imperialist world war.(4)

Revolutionary activists need to confront rallies like the one held in Anchorage with their own counter-rallies opposing military spending and maintenance. Those under lock and key can write letters and send petitions to representatives, suggesting more funds be spent for educational, nutritional or medical programs for the dispossessed and recently-imprisoned as opposed to military funding. Any opposition to military expenditure and activity is desirable as first steps toward the future of socialism in imperialist Amerika. Don't let the official, unceasing propaganda in the media (i.e., ISIS, Russia/Putin, etc) fool anyone - the imperialist military establishment needs to be opposed at all levels and through all possible endeavors by all committed socialists, even if it conflicts with relations to family members who may be enlisted. Every dollar spent on military funding should be seen as one less morsel for food, one less book or pen, or one less dose of life-saving medicine for the world’s proletariat. And now with imperialist defenders and lap dogs like Representative John Boehner asking for increased funding for military and "national security" in the face of the continuing "ISIS" farce and propaganda, and U.$. Senator Dan Sullivan proclaiming that "he who owns Alaska owns the entire world" (statements from U.$. politicians don't get more imperialist-minded than that!), we can see that the Amerikan imperialists will continue to use any excuse to perpetuate the money pit and pig sty that is the U.$. military establishment and its presence both domestic and abroad. Socialists everywhere must hold it as among the highest priorities to organize and act against this greatest of threats to humynity and equality.


Notes.
1. Alaska Dispatch News, February 24, 2015 "Listening Session, rally over proposed Army cuts in Alaska draws hundreds."
2. Howard Zinn "A People's History of the United States," Chapter 15, pp.391
3. Ibid, Chapter 19, pp. 520-21.
4. George F. Kennan "Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin," pp. 65-90 and 32.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer does a good job explaining the importance of opposing the U.$. military and the reasons why so many Amerikans support this imperialist army. S/he proposes that we take action by demanding that the money currently funding the military be instead used to help provide food, medicine and education for the international proletariat. As a goal for improving the lives of the world's people we certainly agree. But we do not see this as a winnable battle under imperialism. As the author explains, the Amerikan military is a tool of U.$. imperialism: it's purpose is to keep the people around the world in line so that imperialist corporations can exploit the workers and steal the natural resources. This colonialism is fundamental to the economic model of imperialism. Calling on the Amerikan government to voluntarily redirect military funds to the very people that military is helping to oppress and exploit is not a battle we can win with words alone.

It will take the forcible overthrow of the imperialist government before they will lay down their weapons and give up their wealth. History has shown this time and again: peaceful revolutions are not really revolutions at all. By playing their game and asking kindly for the government to redirect military funds to humanitarian needs we give the imperialists the chance to pretend they are actually working in the interests of the people. We should not mislead people into thinking this is possible. Any so-called humanitarian work by the imperialists is just a cover for their brutal militarism.

This author is correct: "Every dollar spent on military funding should be seen as one less morsel for food, one less book or pen, or one less dose of life-saving medicine for the world’s proletariat." The urgency of the situation can not be overstated, people around the world are dying while Amerikans are rallying for expansion of the imperialist military.

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[South Asia] [ULK Issue 44]
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The Naxalite Struggle for Self-Determination Advances

Communist Party of India (Maoist) gathering
[Having a narrow understanding of the world makes it easier to be manipulated into believing things that aren't true or that are against one's own interests. When we say 80% of the world's people have an objective interest in communism, this is not just based on comparing incomes or wealth. The imperialists try to hide the historical fact that at one time a third of the world's people lived in socialist systems, and this was achieved by the valiant armed struggles of those peoples fighting for liberation. Even beyond the borders of the socialist countries the oppressed people of the world openly supported the leadership of those countries, meaning the vast majority of the world's people supported communism as the way forward. We cannot say this today, but the numbers are certainly higher than most are aware of. In South Asia, in particular, Maoism has been alive and well among the masses for decades, and consolidating its forces in recent years. Most of what is considered South Asia is the state of India. South Asia has some of the most densely populated regions of the world, with a population much larger than all of North and South America combined.

We often give updates on progress of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in our strategic confidence column. Here we print an article by a comrade that gives a brief introduction to who they are, for those who don't know, and we follow up with some excerpts from a recent report from CPI(Maoist). - editor]

Half a century ago, India was in turmoil, with rebellions popping up in the countryside. One such being the Marxist-led food movement of 1965 and another being a peasant revolt in 1976 in a village in West Bengal called Naxalbari. This peasant revolt would later inspire a Maoist-led people's movement, which was named after the Naxalbari revolt, and inspired by Mao Zedong's model of agrarian reform. The rebels are today known as "Naxalites" by the locals; we know them as the Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI(Maoist)). Today they are leading the largest Maoist struggle in the world, liberating vast areas in the jungles, mountains, and the countryside from the neo-colonial regime of India.

The first Maoists to arrive in the jungles of Abujamarh in 1989 were largely petty-bourgeois revolutionaries and college students from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh following a government crackdown on communists in the cities. It is here that the Naxalite cadres have taken up the people's struggle. In the depth of the jungles the Naxalites have found a new ally: the adivasi. Adivasi means "original people" and they are the First Nations within India, who number 84 million, or about 8.6% of the population. Today the Naxalite communist forces include not only the petty bourgeoisie and college students, but also very large numbers of revolutionaries from India's socially disadvantaged segment known as "the backward class." As a matter of fact, while the CPI(Maoist) was initially composed of various intellectuals from the cities, it is the admixture of the intellectuals with the peasants that has given the people's struggle new life and sustainability. As the struggle rages on it's the adivasi who have taken up leadership roles as CPI(Maoist) cadres, in particular the wimmin who, according to reports, now make up 60% of the Maoist top hierarchy.

In India's countryside, where 180 million exploited people survive on less than two dollars a day; where in poor rural areas like Abujmarh the farmers, peasants, and the poor can't even feed themselves; where children are malnourished and plagued by disease; the people have taken a revolutionary stand against national oppression. They have taken up Maoism. According to a recent National Geographic article, what kicked up the insurrection was newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attraction to the country's mineral wealth, which happens to be in the Naxalite territories. The coal reserves being the most attractive, the coal reserves (the fifth largest in the world) fuel the power plants that light up India's very distant metropolises. The company Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a local subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL), has offered money to locals, jobs and other petty bribes in return for the locals' land. Some accepted the bribes, but I wonder for how long will they last? To the peasant farmers whose livelihood is linked to their land the state's bribes hold little attraction.

The bullshit money CCL offers will go as quick as it came and the petty jobs will not last forever. What then? The people want to keep their farmland to be able to feed their families. Many have resisted the capitalist encroachment, but some have been unable to resist the pressures from big business. Others have simply sold out. Since it became law in 1894, the Land Acquisition Act (a colonial legislation created to allow the bourgeoisie to seize land under the so-called principal of "eminent domain") has left millions without homes due to the state's mining activities. In response to this the Naxalites have established people's courts within both the disputed and liberated zones so that the masses can not only put the predatory land agents on trial, but the traitors as well. Such institutions of the oppressed are part of the building of dual power in India, where an emerging socialist state challenges the existing capitalist one. The people's courts follow in the traditions of the Bolshevik and Chinese revolutions. In particular the latter, after Japanese imperialism's defeat and liberation from both British and Amerikan imperialism. With these courts the targets of the masses were not only pro-Japanese landlords, but counter-revolutionaries as well.

When discussing political affairs, chiefly the oppression and exploitation of the Third World countries, people ask, what do you care? You're on the other side of the world. Well, as humyn beings we should care. What the Naxalite/adivasi struggle teaches is that without national liberation for self-determination of an oppressed nation, which should be led by a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist vanguard, imperialist oppression will never end. As anti-imperialists we are duty-bound to support the struggles of the oppressed against imperialism. The adivasi and other peasant masses are tired of foreign and domestic capital exploiting their people and their land. The adivasi struggle is our struggle! With unification of the masses, and with the correct leadership of the Maoist unity, victory is on the people's side.


excerpt from a March 2015 report from India:

"Overcoming innumerable obstacles and snatching initiative, PLGA fighters and urban action team combatants led by the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee (WGSZC) of the CPI (Maoist) have opened up a new war­front in the State of Keralam, situated along the South Western coast of India... The necessity of taking up arms and advancing the revolutionary war as the true means to seize and secure the rights of the adivasis and other masses over the 'Land, water and forests' has been widely propagated through these actions.

"...These actions were carried out as part of a Politico­-Military Campaign (PMC) carried out over a three month period, from November 2014 till January 2015. The aim of the campaign was to prepare the masses for the revolutionary war, defeat the initiative and aggressiveness of the enemy armed forces and advance the revolutionary movement...

"The successful completion of the PMC marks a qualitative turn in the expansion of the people’s war led by the CPI (Maoist) in the country as well as an overcoming of the stagnation faced in the armed struggle initiated in the Western Ghats more than a decade ago in the Malnad region of Karnataka. Facing heavy repression, the party lost 16 of its valiant leaders and fighters, including comrades Saketh Rajan and Rajamouli (Secretaries of Karnataka State Committee) during this period, while striving to sink firm roots and advance the new democratic revolution by rallying the masses. Meanwhile, efforts to initiate the armed struggle in Tamil Nadu and Keralam too failed to get off, suffering grievous losses of comrades who were martyred in enemy attacks.

"...[Decades earlier] Wayanad was one of the main areas of revolutionary struggles in Keralam inspired by the armed peasant rebellion of Naxalbari... Keralam has a long history of communist activity and valiant armed struggles led by the communists. When the CPI leadership deviated into revisionism, rank and file comrades in different parts of the State started seeking a way forward. They were attracted to the fierce ideological struggle being waged against Khrushchev revisionism under the leadership of Mao Tsetung.

"Ever since then Maoist led revolutionary activities has been a regular feature of the political scene. A number of heroic armed actions were carried out successfully. Many militant mass struggles were organised. At different periods, youth and students came forward in large numbers to join the revolutionary movement and serve the people. Yet all these efforts did not lead to building a sustained and developing Maoist movement. All throughout these decades, the revolutionary movement was repeatedly derailed by wrong tendencies and rightist deviations.

"This was ruptured with in the early 1990s. On the one hand, a section of comrades rebelled against the revisionist line of K. Venu, rejected the theses that conditions in Keralam are not conducive for people’s war and went forward. This initiative would be one of the components forming the Maoist Unity Centre, CPI (M­L), along with comrades in Maharashtra, and then later, the CPI (M­L) NAXALBARI, uniting with revolutionaries led by the late comrade SA Rawoof. A group of comrades, who had formed a new centre, rebelling against CPI(M­L) Jana Shakthi rightist leadership, later merged with this. Meanwhile, sections who were disgusted with the right opportunism of the various M­L parties present in Keralam rebelled and joined the CPI (M­L) People’s War in the early 1990s, which later merged with the Maoist Communist Centre, India in 2004 to form the CPI (Maoist). They too set out to rubbish the revisionist theses of Keralam’s exclusivity. Both of these initiatives had been working independently towards initiating armed struggle."(4)

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[Organizing] [Theory] [ULK Issue 44]
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Building Scientific Leadership Behind Bars

dialectical materialist theory of knowing and doing
It's a beautiful thing when I read about the struggle for social justice and liberation of the oppressed, especially when it is prisoners who are developing politically or ex-prisoners who are released and get involved in activism of various sorts. The lumpen have a hystory of rising up in struggle against injustice. We see this when reading about Attica, the San Quentin six, and the California hunger strikes, as well as in the many revolutionary groups which developed within prisons. This is great, of course, but our development, actions, and theory should be based in science.

Science keeps us grounded in reality; it helps us proceed and understand the way things are. The opposite of science would be faith, a hunch, or metaphysical concepts in general. As revolutionaries we use the scientific method to make decisions on how we interact with the world we live in. The scientific method relies on observation and experimentation with the world that we live in so that we fully understand it and thus transform it.

Science, then, is a tool which helps us make the proper decisions and enables scientific leadership, focused on truth and reality. Scientific leadership allows for one to percieve truth because one studies hystorical events which have been tested and experimented with. Learning from all of this allows scientific leadership to make real power moves which advance the people, as opposed to decisions based on idealism or lofty visions.

What Does Scientific Leadership Look Like?

How much leadership can accomplish depends on whether it is scientific leadership or not. For example, scientific leadership in a political movement must study the world's hystorical movements to see what in hystory has worked, which social experiments have been successful and which have not.

By studying movements and revolutions one would know better than to invest time and programs on Trotskyism because one would quickly see that it has yet to liberate a people anywhere in the world. Science shows that Maoism was most successful because, among other things, it teaches that even after a nation is liberated class struggle continues — even after socialist revolution. Understanding this will reveal why nations such as Vietnam flip-flopped back to capitalism after liberation; it's because the leadership were not Maoists and did not accept that class struggle continues. In short they did not have scientific leadership.

Within prisons it becomes easy to stray off the path of science because in so many ways our methods for surviving in these dungeons and the ways we cope with an unbearable existence may not be anchored in our best interests. Because we are placed in survival mode by the state the minute we are imprisoned it becomes easy to try to come up at another prisoner's expense, but this method is incorrect and parasitic.

When we study hystory we learn that people around the world did not liberate themselves and their people by preying on other similarly situated or oppressed people. They did so by struggling together for their collective interests. One cannot at the same time exploit their own people and free them. Attempting to advance one's own people in order to better exploit them amounts to bourgeois nationalism. This is not scientific leadership because it means the leadership did not learn from hystorical cases of bourgeois revolutions.

Studying revolutionary nationalism reveals what scientific leadership looked like for oppressed nations. Mao's China gave us the greatest example of this so far. But Mao used science to continuously break ground and lead the social forces out of the woods of ignorance and dead-end politics. As he put it:


"Natural science is one of man's weapons in his fight for freedom. For the purpose of attaining freedom in society, man must use social science to understand and change society and carry out social revolution. For the purpose of attaining freedom in the world of nature man must use natural science to understand, conquer and change nature and thus attain freedom from nature."(1)

As Mao explains above, people seeking to push a movement forward must harness natural science and learn from our reality. Prisoners in our microcosm must do the same. Our "freedom" within U.$. prisons does not translate to seizing state power today, but the beauty of Maoism is that we can apply these teachings to our own environment, even the prison environment. Our freedom in U.$. prisons should be freedom from torture, freedom from abuse and other forms of oppression. We should seek freedom in the realm of ideas where we can read and write without censorship. We should be free to socialize and form study groups and politically educate our fellow prisoners without fear of being brutalized by the state or stuffed in a control unit.
Scientific Method
This flow chart is the bourgeois scientific method. While a good outline of the steps, it is linear with a focus on a final result. In reality, knowledge is ever-growing and more resembles a spiral or cyclical process as in the representation of Mao's "On Practice" above..

The scientific leadership within U.$. prisons is a minority and is most reflective in the pages of Under Lock & Key. If Maoism is the highest or most scientific ideology today, then Maoist prisoners are the scientific leadership in U.$. prisons, even if we are not yet currently "in power" within U.$. prisons.

A scientific leadership should ensure that its people are a politically educated people. To monopolize on knowledge and hoard education within a chosen few means that should these leaders get slammed down in the hole or control unit the masses become lost. This is why educating the people is something that should be constantly focused on. Building cadre is investing in a movement's future.

Can the People be Led Without Science?

Prison can be a brutal environment. In the old days it was the most brutal who rose to the top of the heap and led, although it may have been down a dead-end road. Without understanding who is oppressing you, the oppressor will not only continue to oppress you, but you'll end up focusing on those who are not oppressing you. You consequently never dig yourself out of the hole that you don't even realize you are in.

Unfortunately the people can be, and in many cases are, led by unscientific leadership. The prison rebellion in Santa Fe, New Mexico was a concrete example of what happens when leadership is not based in the scientific method. Violence and parasitism are promoted rather than steering the people toward liberation. Lumpen organizations (LOs) that are not scientific will more often than not be swayed to lumpen-on-lumpen crime. They are not looking at their social reality from political lenses and instead they will look more to immediate needs and self-gratification. This is the breeding ground for escapism and individualism. This does nothing to combat the oppressor and almost always reinforces national oppression.

Unscientific leadership is not a revolutionary leadership. It is not for the people's real interest and will never get past making a little money here and there and gaining some recognition from those in prisons and other lumpen, while never rebuilding their nation or contributing to freeing their nation.

This means that people will be led, but it will be down a path which leads nowhere productive. If anything, it is a path which helps destroy their own people. Their goals will remain in self-destructive behavior which works alongside the state in many ways. The un-scientific approach ends up being an enabler to the state and one's very own national oppression. One essentially ends up tying the knots for our oppressor which binds us, helpless and vulnerable.

So What is Scientific Leadership For?

Ultimately people are led towards a goal. Scientific leadership is communist and working toward liberating oppressed people. Prisoners within U.$. borders are mostly from the internal semi-colonies, so for us scientific leadership works toward independence from Amerikkka. All of our decisions as a scientific leadership should be with the intent of inching closer to our goal of liberating our nation(s) and obtaining complete independence.

Emancipation will take work, but prisoners can contribute in many ways. Scientific leaders within U.$. prisons should first identify their political hystory and who they are as a nation. This means guiding one's flock to also understand who they are and to become politically educated. Independent institutions need to be created, which includes revolutionary publications. Those who are already politically conscious need to be harnessed so that they can be political instructors for those who do not yet grasp their political reality. Liberation schools need to be created, and better relations with others who are similarly situated and oppressed need to be coordinated.

Outside political institutions also need to be created which help link people outside prison walls with our imprisoned struggles for justice in these concentration camps. We can still hustle in prisons, but our hustles should not oppress others and our hustles should not be for our own come up, but for building our revolutionary movement.

At the end of the day the role of the imprisoned scientific leadership is to transform prisons, to revolutionize the prisons. Our aim is freedom. We cannot shy away from the very real contradictions that exist within the lumpen population. There is a lot of work to do, but things are changing and the imprisoned lumpen are becoming more and more conscious. This is reflected in many things, from more frequent prison uprisings, more imprisoned revolutionary organizations springing up, more prison theoreticians developing ideology, and most importantly more lumpen unity behind prison walls. All of this and more points to the imprisoned lumpen acquiring more scientific leadership. Imprisoned revolutionaries should help accelerate these developments because this is what all LOs originated for in the beginning, for their people to be free from oppression behind prison walls.


Notes: Mao Zedong, "Speech at the inaugural meeting of the Natural Science Research Society of the Border Region." February 5, 1940.

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[Principal Contradiction] [National Oppression] [Police Brutality] [ULK Issue 44]
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Baltimore: Contradictions Heightening

bloods and crips unite for justice for Freddie Gray in Baltimore
In recent years we've seen the consolidation of the movement to end long-term isolation in U.$. prisons. This has been an issue the Maoist Internationalist Movement, and others, have focused on for decades because they determined that it was an important contradiction between the oppressors and the oppressed in the United $tates. It's taken some time, but that analysis seems to be proving true as the movement is gaining traction.

Another issue that we have reported on over the years has been that of police brutality, and in particular police killings. In recent years, this too has emerged as a flashpoint issue. After many incidents that provoked local and ongoing responses, Ferguson took it to another level, and now Baltimore has further pushed the issue and begun to draw lines in the sand.

Just as the state attacked the anti-SHU movement for being a bunch of gangbangers just looking out for themselves, the question of oppressed nation unity across lumpen organizations has come to the forefront in Ferguson and Baltimore. In Baltimore, the Nation of Islam held a press conference with members of Blood and Crip organizations that led to a lot of press coverage. During the uprising, those organizations were on the streets protecting New Afrikan-owned businesses and community members. As they attempted to show their ability to do for their community what the police claimed but failed to do, the state tried to paint them as a bunch of cop killers in the media.

A controversial hypothesis that we have put forth is that we should look to the oppressed nation lumpen and lumpen organizations to find a mass base for revolutionary organizing in the United $tates. We see the social forces involved in the struggles against long-term isolation and police killing as providing evidence in support of this hypothesis. We have looked at this question in depth and think there is enough evidence to support this as a valid scientific theory. One source of confirmation we get from this is the support we get from the oppressed nation lumpen. One comrade from Baltimore wrote to us further illuminating the connection between our prison work and the anti-police movement today:

"I am a former eminent member of the 5-Deuce Hoover Crips in the Northeast region of Baltimore city. Currently, I am serving out a long prison sentence in Maryland. I am writing to you in regards to the riots and the looting and the unorganized protest that took place 27 April 2015. I can't say that I'm surprised, nor can I say I seen it coming; but you must know that if the melee on April 27 didn't happen when it did, it still would have taken place somewhere further down the line. Do I condone the actions of misled, poorly-educated youth and mindless adults during the date of Freddie Gray's burial? No, I do not!

"I knew Freddie personally so know his death is agonizing and he'll be missed. It is such a crying shame it took the misplaced anger and rage of Baltimore's youth to get the governor, mayor, city's councilpeople, etc. off their hindparts to 'work actively' with the protestors and conduct an investigation of Freddie Gray's death. Every big shot wants to say how good of a city Baltimore is, yet the justice system is corrupt, and our 'city leaders' are corrupt...

"There is good in Balti but those ghettos around the realm of the city are truculent. Not because there's direct destruction, but because right now it is the blind leading the blind. Those same misled youth who rioted April 27 will soon grow to be adults who will be misleading the next generation. Baltimore city needs help, in its ghettos and its prisons. In short, legislation has to make some changes with its shielding of police who break the law and violate the rights of the civilians."

Certainly there is much to be done in all areas where there is mass opposition to police brutality. And we do not see any possible solution from a state whose interests the police are serving. The struggle to transform spontaneous uprisings into long-term organizing is one that the movement has faced for decades. The increase in frequency and size of such uprisings is the quantitative change in this contradiction between the oppressed nations and the imperialist state. The transformation from spontaneous to organized, concerted movements is the qualitative change that must happen to keep the struggle advancing. And the lumpen organizations themselves must transform in order to play an effective leadership role in that process.

Some in the oppressed nations are frustrated with the slow pace of change. No doubt there have been a lot of peace treaties and calls from lumpen organizations to be forces for the community that have not always panned out to be all that we had hoped for. But just as there were countless uprisings to overthrow slavery before enough quantitative change had occurred in society to be successful, we are now in a stage where we see many efforts to form national unity in New Afrika and to politicize lumpen organizations. These efforts are part of the quantitative change that has not yet made a qualitative leap to a new stage of struggle. This is a process that faces setbacks from state interference, but also responds to state interference with further radicalization and mobilization.

Another sign that the movement is advancing is that lines are being drawn between enemies and friends. It is becoming clear that many who claim to oppose racism and police brutality actually care more about private property and business as usual. So the progressive facade of these forces is being torn off as they come face-to-face with the unrefined reality of mass uprisings. But just as those false friends become alienated from the struggle against police killings, the masses who have a real interest in change will become energized by a movement as it becomes more real and relatable.

Becoming more real requires having an analysis of the situation that is based in materialism; that is real. The more our analysis reflects reality and is able to harness the forces of change that are present, the more support we will gain from those forces of change. Many people are still stuck in metaphysical ways of thinking. They think this is just the way things are and they will never change. Such people conclude that the best thing to do is to try to avoid conflict with the oppressor, keep your head down and just try to get by.

The dominant Amerikan analysis is also metaphysical and misleads the masses who might otherwise be supportive of dialectical materialist analysis. Racism is a metaphysical view of sociology. Using an individualist approach to sociological questions, or replacing psychology for sociology, is also metaphysical. Sociology studies groups of humyns and can be used to predict how they will behave; psychology studies individual humyns and attempts to predict how they will behave. The metaphysical line goes that there are bad cops and there are bad people who go to the protests. These bad people must be rooted out and punished. As sociologists, we disagree, as this does not address the source of the conflict.

The racist version is that these looters are thugs who have nothing to do with Gray. If we look at history, these types of occurrences in similar communities in the United $tates are almost always in the response to the killing of New Afrikans by the U.$. state. This would lead the scientific mind to develop a hypothesis that there is some connection between the two. To test this hypothesis we could search history for incidents when large groups of people loot stores when there wasn't a New Afrikan killed. If we find few-to-no examples of this, and find many examples of the first situation, we might raise our hypothesis to a theory, that can be used as a predictive tool.

In contrast, Amerikans say the people in Baltimore who looted stores are opportunists, using the protests as an excuse to act out their real goals. Like getting some free Doritos is a higher priority for them than getting justice for the countless New Afrikans who have faced abuse and murder under Amerikan occupation. Such a nihilistic view is almost laughable. But let's entertain it a little further. If we are to oppose this position, we should propose a better explanation for the behavior of many of the youth in Baltimore recently. As our comrade wrote, it is a blind leading the blind problem, but why is that? Are New Afrikans just not smart enough to figure out how to respond effectively? He further wrote:

"I am a 25 year old Black man who taught myself how to read while incarcerated. After being sent to prison a third time I learned my true calling. There's so much more to life, I am trying my hardest to be an activist behind the prison walls and when I make it out on the streets. I know first hand how it feels to be those Black children who've been mis-educated and unheard, so the only way to express your emotions is through lashing out because you don't know any other way. The police used to beat and harass me every single day because of my position in the Crips, because I wasn't properly educated, and because they had the power. I'm no saint, but a lot of things I went through and/or other Black children endured with police brutality often times was uncalled for.

"If the shoe was on the other foot and someone killed a police officer, there wouldn't be a waiting period or an investigation to lock the person up. The police might even go as far as persecution (execution style) of the person themselves. The video clips taken during the occurrence of Freddie Gray's death should render enough information for all of those cops involved to be taken into custody (without bail) until a trial date is arranged."

Let's analyze this a little further. We live in a capitalist society, where the primary motivator that keeps things moving is profit. Our country is an imperialist country, that has always used force to kill and steal from people to increase its wealth. When New Afrikans walk around with $ signs hanging from their necks, and big portraits of Benjamin Franklin on the back of their jeans, is there any doubt that they are reflecting the dominant ideology of capitalism? On the other hand, whenever a New Afrikan movement has arisen that promotes socialism, communism, cooperative economics or anything of the sort, they have faced repression. People who led New Afrikan youth against capitalism have been imprisoned and killed. Could these be explanations of why New Afrikan youth today are often caught up in fetishizing money and wealth? Because they've been terrorized into it? The individualist will pretend these things don't matter and that it's up to the individual to make the right decisions, even when the individual does not have all the information or knowledge they would need to do so because that information has been purposely and systematically kept from them. It amounts to blaming the victim.

Of course, a real Amerikan patriot supports the First Amendment, so they will say "I support the protesters, but I oppose the looters." The petty bourgeois class interest is not hard to see in this dominant narrative. People are literally putting more weight on private property than a New Afrikan's life. They might respond, that to put it such a way is a false dichotomy, because it was not a situation where we either break some windows and save Gray's life or let Gray die at the hands of police. But this again is based on their individualist worldview. In their view, each incident is unique and isolated between the individuals involved and must be assessed as such. There is no consideration of the possibility of the mass uprising in Baltimore leading to a surge in organizing, that then contributes to a new revolutionary movement that 30 years from now has put an end to imperialism in this country so that New Afrikans' lives are no longer threatened by police.

The more we look at the big picture, the worse things are for the defenders of capitalism. When we look at the big picture we see things like 80% of the world's people have a material interest opposed to capitalism because their basic needs are not being met. And that capitalism has only been around for a few hundred years, a blip on the timeline of humyn history. And that all systems change, all empires fall. This constant change is a part of the dialectical worldview.

Huey Newton on Power

This is why Mao talked about science being on the side of the oppressed. Injustice is an objective fact. And the solutions to the problems our society faces today are found in a thorough analysis of that society.

We commend our comrade from Baltimore for taking the journey of teaching himself to become an activist to serve the people. But how does one go about learning in an effective way? There is so much information out there, so many books and groups and so little time. Making effective use of the collective knowledge of humynkind requires using the correct scientific methods, and comparing different practices to see which ones have worked. We hope this issue of ULK gives our readers some guidance in this process of judging truth and knowledge. As always, we have study materials that go more deeply into this than we can here in ULK where we try to focus on news and agitation. Issue 45 of ULK will focus on the practical side of how to organize study groups in prison, and the question of how do we teach basic skills like literacy. We hope those of you with experience will contribute to that issue and help build the quantitative change that must come from the oppressed masses themselves for any systematic change to take place.

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[Abuse] [Perry Correctional Institution] [South Carolina] [ULK Issue 44]
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Prison Dog Rehab Program Underscores Inhumynity to Humyns

The rehabilitation program for abused dogs at Perry Correctional Institution (PCI) is commendable. Prisoners have the primary responsibility to care for and rehabilitate abused animals. Selected prisoners have dogs assigned to them and they literally spend all of their time with these dogs; they even have to share a 6 by 10 foot cell with them. This is a remarkable program wherein prisoners are allowed to show love, compassion, and empathy for their fellow creatures.

Being that these dogs have been abused, it is expected that it will take some time for them to be fully rehabilitated. It is also expected that these animals remember their former abuse and at times may become scared, agitated, and even dangerous. Example in point: At least two of the K-9s in the program here at PCI (Shep and Pippin) have bitten people. Nevertheless, instead of these dogs being euthanized, they are allowed to remain in the rehabilitation program and even to be sent to live with families out in society. The program organizers and the prisoners themselves realize that real rehabilitation takes time, patience, compassion, love, and understanding. In contrast, there are many prisoners here (including myself) who have been given Life Without Parole (LWOP) under South Carolina's two-strikes law, who may never see their families again.

It is no secret that a large number of imprisoned people come from families and homes where abuse has been rampant. Why is there no rehabilitation program for them? Do we not afford human beings equal rights with dogs? The truthful and troubling answer is no.

Here at PCI prisoners see staff members hugging and kissing the dogs, but they themselves are not given common or even professional courtesy. And in fact, we are disrespected on a daily basis, from the warden all the way down to new officers who haven't even been certified yet.

The dogs are fed with expensive dog food such as Purina, while the South Carolina Department of Corruptions (SCDC) brags about feeding prisoners for less than a dollar a day. The dogs are given brand new mattresses stacked up to sleep on, but a prisoner has to damn near go through an act of congress to get anything new around here. The dogs have new stainless steel bowls to eat out of, while we have plastic trays that are peeling so bad that each time someone eats in the mess hall, they are assured a healthy diet of plastic.

I've complained continuously about the peeling trays to several staff members (Lt. Church, Lt. Wilson, Cpt. Williams, food service employees J. Husband and B. Olsen) and even filed a grievance. But we are still eating plastic.

I believe that animals are a source of therapy for human beings, especially those human beings who are denied the basic rights of humanity itself. We love these abused animals, because we know their plight and can feel their pain. And as these dogs are being rehabilitated so that they can be placed in loving homes, we are being treated worse than dogs.

How is it that people can rationalize and believe the rehabilitation of a dog, but not a man? It is a shame and a travesty that there is a genuine rehabilitation program here at PCI for dogs, but not for humans.

The dogs have People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Why don't prisoners have People for the Ethical Treatment of Humans (PETH)? The simple truth of the matter is that the landlords of these gated communities don't believe in rehabilitation for the human residents.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's off-the-cuff proposal for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Humyns (PETH) organization underscores an important point about capitalism: it is based on treating humyns as nothing more than labor to create profit, or worse, as an obstacle to stealing resources. There are many compassionate people in the First World who devote much time and money to bettering the treatment of animals while ignoring the plight of people around the world suffering in truly unlivable conditions, without clean water, access to medical care, sufficient food, and often all this while in danger from a war initiated by the imperialists to gain greater control of strategic resources.

MIM(Prisons) is a part of this PETH battle, in the broader context of opposing the imperialist system that is fundamentally inhumyn. We are fighting for a world where no people have power to oppress other people. In these conditions we will be able to create a society where people do not die unnecessarily, and do not suffer so that others can profit. This will only be possible when we overthrow imperialism, the imperialists won't make these changes out of the kindness of their hearts because the exploitation and oppression of humyns is an integral part of the profit system.

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[Censorship] [Stiles Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 44]
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Texas Denies Prisoners All Access to Paper and Envelopes

I'm writing because here in Texas the legislature or some "committee" got the bright idea to forbid prisoners the ability to purchase stationary materials (writing paper, typing paper, envelopes of all kinds, and carbon paper) from outside vendors. This really is felt by those who do legal work and those who refuse to support this state. We are now obligated to further support it by purchasing stationary from commissary.

Before this rule was adopted and enforced, one could purchase stationary items from the outside. This was especially good while on a unit lockdown when one needed paper (especially in litigation), because one could do an outside purchase and still get the paper. On a unit lockdown all movement comes to a halt! No commissary, nothing. So no commissary, no paper.

Now, of course, this system has a rule where after seven days on a lockdown one can use the state's "indigent" process, even having funds in one's account. But what the rule states, and what the indigent supply supervisor (usually the law library supervisor) does, are two different things. Let's say it's a four week lockdown. So the first week is "free" or s/he doesn't have to worry about filling out stationary requests. Then week two comes along and all those requests come in. Now the supervisor claims that there's "too many" requests and can't get around to sending the requester their "assigned" indigent supply envelope (ISE). There goes week two, with no paper. Now, each building has their "assigned" request day so this wise ass stupid-visor knows which day is the building's request day. S/he then sends the ISE on the day that the requests are to be made — there goes week three. Week four, you finally make your request, but you come off lockdown, with no supplies sent, and you haven't written in a whole month. Then you have to wait to go to the store.

By the time any grievance is heard the stupid-visor now has his goons kicking down your door searching all your "legal work" under the guise of "probable cause" of written contraband, but really it's retaliation. After all your shit has been ransacked and possibly stolen, in the end you've been fucked good with no claim upon which relief can be granted.

eCommDirect usually allows people on the outside to purchase commissary items for prisoners, but they are not allowed during a lockdown. And if you're in a custody level of what's known in Texas as a G-4 or closed custody there are no eComms allowed any time anyway.

So what does the system do to stop you if you're a writ writer? Make you a G-4 or closed custody. And you can be disciplined for anything! The way the rule reads, an open bag of chips is "contraband" cause it's not as you bought it! Everyone with a little sense will know that the prison system disciplinary process is only a means of control.


MIM(Prisons adds: Beyond just the disciplinary process inside prisons, the entire prison system, from denial of writing materials, to long-term isolation, is set up for social control. There's nothing rehabilitative or corrective about the Amerikan criminal injustice system. Denial of paper and envelopes is a clever way for Texas to try to stop people from using the grievance and legal system to address injustices. It is no surprise that many prisoners turn to physical violence when all other avenues are cut off. But in the face of this increased repression we call on all prisoners to come together, build unity and peace and join a broader movement to fight both these specific injustices and the broader imperialist system. United we can have an impact and build for revolutionary change!

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[U.S. Imperialism] [Ujamaa Field Dynasty] [ULK Issue 44]
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Government Hypocrisy Over Freedom of Speech in France

In a show of bourgeois solidarity, on a Sunday in January, 4 million people flooded the streets of France in the name of "support for freedom of speech and expression." Representatives from some 30 different countries marched arm in arm to show their displeasure and cooperation in France's pursuit for justice against the French satiric weekly Charlie Hebdo.

We only need to look at the list of who was on the front lines of this march to see the contradictions in this expression. David Camron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has participated in the imprisonment of Middle Eastern journalists. The king of Jordan for years has imprisoned journalists and those who participate in marches. Benjamin Netanyahu, the biggest war criminal of our time, months ago, blew up Al Aqu Alquxa news services in Palestine, and also killed two journalists. The fact that there was an "absence" of U.$. officials at the march really shouldn't be surprising. U.$.-sponsored bombing of Al Jazeera in Iraq at the Sheraton hotel, and the imprisonment of African journalists in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base are only a few small examples of Amerikan hypocrisy on the question of freedom of speech.

I think it's truly contradictory that when 17 people die for insulting a prophet many take dear, the world takes the opportunity to cry crocodile tears. Amerika and its western pigs can only speak honestly of human rights when they pull out of the Middle East and Asian countries, i.e. the Third World. At last count, 20 countries in Afrika and Asia were under U.$. and Western occupation. This count doesn't include countries facing drone strikes and military intervention from military contractors such as Haliburton, and other corporate conglomerates such as Shell, Texaco, etc. We say that when people are attacked in whatever circumstance, they have a right to fight back.

The philosophy that Amerikan troops are defenders of anything humane is a lie; troops from the United $tates are enforcers of economic imperialism. So in closing here's an idea: U.$. government if you want to defend free speech, defend it when it comes to all people, and don't pretend to be innocent when the wars you've launched for liberation are for your own interests. Save your tears about the murder of children and wimmin for yourself. And if you really want to stand up for free speech, close Guantanamo Bay, free your prisoners and stop the murder of foreign Al Jazeera writers.

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[National Oppression] [Abuse] [Ross Correctional Institution] [Ohio] [ULK Issue 44]
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Ohio Guards Instigate Beating, Lock Down Prisoners as Punishment

Last month on a housing unit called 7A at Ross Correctional Institution (RCI), a prisoner was said to have a cell phone in his possession. The pigs entered his cell while he was in there, which is not allowed unless a "white shirt" is present (Lieutenant, Captain, etc.). While the pigs were in his cell they maced him, handcuffed him and beat him. As they were bringing this prisoner out of his cell, other prisoners watched as the pigs used unnecessary and brutal force by banging his head into the stair rail, hand rail and wall.

Fortunately this prisoner had three family members on the unit who stood up in his defense, which created an altercation that the pigs agitated. After macing and brutally beating these four prisoners plus thirty or forty more innocent bystanders, they shut the unit down on 24-hour lockdown with no showers, no recreation, and bag lunches with no hot food (which is also prohibited) for five days. They also put around fifty prisoners in solitary confinement.

The pigs here abuse their authority time and time again with no reprimands from their superior officers. They're in clear violation of excessive force, racial discrimination and bias, they deny us basic civil and human rights daily and have no regard for prisoners' lives, especially New Afrikans.

After the February fight, the RCI plantation held a press conference with the local news and lied to the public making it look like the prisoners were the cause of the February fight and that the RCI prison needs more security measures implemented here to safeguard, not us but them.

I come to you asking that you rally up the people and support our prison struggle by calling to inquire about the February fight and ensure the beaten prisoner and every other prisoner involved was given proper medical aid and assistance. Demand that no harassment or retaliation is being executed against any prisoner who uses the informal complaint process and/or has family and friends calling on their behalf. We need the people to demand an investigation be initiated and that more New Afrikans be hired here as staff and guards because I've been here for six months and have only seen five.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer is doing an important service to the anti-imperialist prison movement by exposing the brutality in RCI, and going further to suggest some actions people on the outside can take to help the struggle there. However, we disagree with this comrade that a solution is to hire more New Afrikan staff and guards. Just as with cops, or judges, or the President of the United $tates, putting more dark faces in positions of power will not change the fundamental nature of the system. These people only serve to make the system look more equal and fair, and perpetuate the national oppression that is an inherent part of Amerikan imperialism. We need to see this oppression for what it is: not just a lack of representation in some positions of power, but a systematic oppression of certain nations (New Afrikan, [email protected], First Nations) by the nation in power (the white nation). The only way to put an end to national oppression is to fight the imperialist system that perpetuates it.

Spontaneous uprisings in response to abuses can help to bring prisoners together over their common enemy, the prison guards. But spontaneous uprisings without proper organization are limited in their scope and easily crushed. And organized action without thorough political education is usually limited to reformism. Reformism leaves the institutions of national oppression intact on a global scale, pushing for benefits for the oppressed internal semi-colonies in the United $tates, gained on the backs of the international proletariat. We encourage our comrades at RCI to use incidents of abuse such as this one as opportunities to educate their fellow prisoners on how this incident fits in with the systemic oppression they face, and organize them to come together to combat these abuses. And we push them to organize in the context of an anti-imperialist struggle, so that their actions have an international impact. If you need organizing or educational materials, get in touch!

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[Censorship] [ULK Issue 44]
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PrisonTalk.com Censors MIM(Prisons)

Prison Talk Online censors political posts
For a few years MIM(Prisons) has been participating in the on-line forum Prison Talk (www.prisontalk.com). This website advertises itself as a "prison information and family support community." The forums on Prison Talk are primarily used by family members of prisoners, looking for information and support. From their home page description, Prison Talk (also known as PTO) explains:

"There is no worse feeling than that of being alone and helpless. This applies to the families of those who are incarcerated just as much as it does to those behind the walls. PTO's goal is to bridge the communication barrier that exists in and around the criminal 'justice' system today and bring everyone in the prisoner support community closer together to effect change in policy, prisoner rights, sentencing and so much more."

Occasionally MIM(Prisons) attempts to post information in PTO forums for the benefit of the PTO audience, who may not regularly visit our website for news from Amerikan prisons. For instance, during the statewide hunger strike in California's prisons, we provided several articles and updates on the situation that were appreciated by the California forum users (users can indicate appreciation of a post within the forums by “thanking” the author).

We try to be careful to follow the rules of the forums. For instance, a few years ago Prison Talk staff made some policy changes to bring the forums into compliance with copyright laws. Because the content on our website is not copyrighted, these laws don't apply to posts of content from prisoncensorship.info. But we understand that the Prison Talk staff have decided to apply their policies to all news articles posted on the site rather than research each individual source, and so we modified our participation to include only a small summary of an article and then a link to the full article for those who want to read it, as their policy requires.(1)

In spite of this practice, our posts over the past year were often deleted for "copyright violation" without any indication of how we were violating the policy. Perhaps in recognition that we are not violating the copyright policy, Prison Talk staff recently started making up new reasons to delete our posts. One reason given was "We cannot allow you to link to that site. It asks for donations, and as such is not allowed on PTO." This one is interesting since it took only about 5 minutes of looking through recent posts on PTO to find examples of uncensored posts linking to sites that request donations, such as this one which links to truth-out.org, a site that has a prominently-featured button requesting donations (far more aggressive than prisoncensorship.info). In fact the only sites that are unlikely to request donations are commercial sites, so if this is actually a PTO policy, they are effectively banning links to most non-profit and independent websites.

Another post was deleted with the reason given as "You have been told multiple times you CANNOT post as someone else." This is an odd reason since we have never concealed the identity of the persyn posting on PTO for MIM(Prisons). In fact a few years ago we were asked to take down the link to the MIM(Prisons) website in that persyn's PTO user profile. So on the one hand they want us to disguise who we work with, and on the other hand they accuse us of posting as someone else. And for the record, this was the first time PTO made this accusation, it was not "multiple times."

It seems that the PTO staff want to prevent MIM(Prisons) from participating in the forums, but they don't want to do so openly. They have pursued an ongoing practice of making it as difficult as possible for us to share information about the fight against the criminal injustice system being waged by United Struggle from Within and MIM(Prisons). We have asked the PTO administrators to be honest with us and just tell us to stop participating if they want to kick us off. But they ignore this request and continue to pretend that the problem is our lack of compliance with policies. We do consistently see our posts censored within a few hours of posting, and so given the volume of posts in a day (there were 1885 new posts over one random 12-hour period this month) we assume at least one administrator has set a flag notifying themselves to review every single post we attempt to make.

It is unfortunate that the organizers of this forum serving a population that desperately needs access to information about battles being waged in the prison system are censoring participants in such an underhanded way. This is eerily similar to the games played by prison administrators who throw out prisoners' mail and pretend it just never arrived, or who deny material as "a threat to the security of the institution" when they just don't like the material. Unlike prison staff, PTO is legally allowed to remove material they find politically disagreeable from their website, but they probably know that openly doing so would lose them support from many of their users.

MIM(Prisons) is honest about our selective publication of articles and information in both Under Lock & Key and on our website. We are clear about our political line and the goals of our work. Liberal organizations like PTO, who pretend to be open to all views but in fact secretly promote their own agenda, are harming the fight against injustice.


Notes:
1. The policy reads: "To stay within 'fair use' copyright you are allowed a brief summary and a link back to the site which the article is located...You are also not allowed to edit the summary or paragraph that you are using that came from the copyright holder." Further, the PTO Admin who authored the policy wrote: "The moderators have been instructed from this point forward to edit any copyrighted news article that do not fit the 'fair use' criteria and contact the members who post them." While none of the material posted from MIM(Prisons) violates any copyright laws, we have also complied fully with this policy as requested by Prison Talk staff. In spite of this, our posts are now consistently deleted and frequently the reason given is just that we need to read the copyright policy. There are plenty of other posts that quote news articles that are not censored. For instance, here's a post that quotes an Associated Press story. And we've never been given an explanation for how we are violating the copyright policy.

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[Abuse] [Okeechobee Correctional Institution] [Florida] [ULK Issue 44]
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Christmas Day Beating to Save Face for CO

On Christmas morning upon entering lockdown for 8 a.m. count, Sergeant Samuel approached a cell near mine and radioed the officer station to open the cell door. When the cell door slid open, Sgt. Samuel who is always playing and joking with the two prisoners in that cell, was then putting on his latex gloves so he and an officer in training could search the cell.

One of the prisoners walked out of the cell and refused to cuff up for the search in a playful manner. Refusing to cuff up in the presence of the trainee officer made Sgt. Samuel look bad and playful, so he whipped out his chemical agent saying, "get on the floor or I'll spray you." The prisoner walked away with Sgt. Samuel following; they ended up downstairs and backup arrived. The backup was Sgt. Harris and Corrections Officer Sanders. The prisoner agreed to cuff up as long as they would not gas him. Sgt. Harris agreed and the prisoner laid on the floor face down with his hands behind his back.

Once the cuffs were on the trainee officer and C/O Sanders went into action. The trainee tried to cross the prisoner's legs across each other while pressing them into his back. At the same time C/O Sanders started pressing his right knee into the prone man's neck area. The prisoners locked behind their cell doors started screaming while Sgts. Samuel and Harris looked on. Then they picked the man up from the floor and took him into the sally port.

Outside of the dormitory, as soon they got the prisoner out on the sidewalk, C/O Sanders punched him in the back of the head and he fell to the ground. I saw the whole thing from my back window and started screaming "they're jumping on that man out there!" loud as hell so everyone including the pro-imperialist goons (pigs) could hear me. Corrections Officer Daluco was on his radio commanding all pigs to get the prisoners off their back windows; no witnesses allowed. But they quickly picked the beaten man up from off the floor as Captain Coleman showed up, while the pig Sanders explained that he had to drop the prisoner because "he was talking too much shit." Just like that, Sgt. Harris and Cpt. Coleman walked the beaten prisoner off for pre-confinement where he now sits pending fake "Battery on an Officer" charges even though he was in cuffs and he was battered by C/O Sanders who violated Florida Statute 944.35 (3)(a)(1). C/Os Sanders and Daluco walked off together talking like it was just another day on the plantation, being members of the slave patrol conscripted with all the impunity in the world.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This article was sent to us by both the persyn who was beaten up and another comrade who witnessed the event, exposing an example of brutality in prison that is all too common. And by writing about this brutality, both authors set a good example for others, that there are many ways to take up the battle against the criminal injustice system. We call on our readers to document abuse by prison employees as it happens, and help us to establish patterns that can be used to expose the system and educate people on the streets.

We also need to make the connections between this brutality by prison staff and the criminal injustice system in general. The problem is not a few bad guards, or even the free reign and positions of power they are given in their jobs. It is the entirety of the system that dehumanizes prisoners and places them in a system that has nothing to do with rehabilitation. By classifying so many people, disproportionately from oppressed nations, as fundamentally criminal and forcing them outside of the social and economic system, the criminal injustice system plays a key role in social control of the lumpen class. Keeping prisoners in a constant state of fear of violence and loss of privileges further helps to reduce resistance and silence the voices of those who might otherwise speak out.

It is an act of courage to write about the brutality that is happening, and even greater courage to organize others to study the system and seek greater understanding of its connections to Amerikan imperialism. This study and education helps build comrades who can work together to fight the imperialist system itself.

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[Gang Validation] [National Oppression] [California] [ULK Issue 44]
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New Afrikan Prisoners Retaliated Against by Institutional Gang Investigators

Here at a torture unit known as the Corcoran Security Housing Unit (SHU), we New Afrikan freedom fighters and other entities are getting retaliated on by the fascist Institutional Gang Investigators (IGI). IGI and their cronies seem to think that attacking those who were hunger strikers and at the forefront of the prison movement is gonna distract us from our main objective in challenging this oppressive system. They are holding onto our mail for months at a time, giving out petty disciplinary cases after cell searches and calling miscellaneous items contraband, such as extra laundry, or wire we use to make our digital channels come in clearly and radios without static.

Due to the outside support we received for the collective solidarity we expressed on the inside, we've received but a few items we requested in our yearly packages and canteen purchase. The legislators gave the administration an earfull of how they mistreat us in the SHU, and how mental torture is much worse than physical torture and solitary confinement must be abolished.

The retaliation is a given, and just this past week I personally had some books sent back to the sender and was told they promoted racism and violence. Well, I filed a grievance against the sergeant they sent to my door because his actions were racist. The reading material was in fact about anarchism, and they have allowed the white/European inmates to have literature on this very same subject. I was also referred to as a racist because he saw pictures of a few Black Panthers on my wall, and asked why do I read racist books of the past. I just looked at the sergeant standing before me and shook my head. How can a New Afrikan be a racist considering all the things that have happened to my people in previous times, and are still happening around the country?

We are also being moved around the yard to the different buildings, and we hear it's only due to the warden wanting to place mentally ill inmates in the left side of the building and those who are not on medication to the right side of the building, but this is so they can revalidate those who the Departmental Review Board might be considering kicking back to the mainline, and to disturb think tanks we have been able to put together throughout the prison diaspora. We who have been buried alive in these concrete tombs (Pelican Bay, Corcoran, Tehachapi SHUs) will stand firm in our principled discipline and continue our revolutionary studies, because we have a world to win. We will not let our oppressor's strategies and tactics stop our movement or break our momentum. In true liberation and struggle I encourage all to show solidarity until all oppressed are free.

Dare to Struggle
Dare to win....


MIM(Prisons) responds: While we agree with what this comrade wrote above, we want to expand on this topic. Racism is the ideology that arises from national oppression: a way of seeing certain groups of people as inferior based on their alleged biological differences, or "race." National oppression is the system that engenders racism, a system where one nation has power over other nations. New Afrikans are an oppressed nation within U.$. borders, and so this discrimination based on race by the guards is no surprise (and something our comrades see all the time behind bars). But a persyn from an oppressed nation could be racist (though not in the way that the prison guard claims). We see racism manifested as incorrect ideas about Mexicans by New Afrikans or New Afrikans by Mexicans, for instance. Or oppressed nation people thinking white people are oppressors because of some biological deficiencies.

Despite the utter lack of scientific evidence that race exists, Amerikan academics have succeeded in replacing discussions about national self-determination with ones of race and multiculturalism. This has led to the popularization of lines such as "Black people can't be racist." One video from the Ferguson uprisings has gotten a lot of promotion by white nationalists trying to show how ridiculous the protestors were because they accuse a reporter of being racist because he is white and claim that they can't be racist because they are Black. While we cannot win over the white nation as a whole, by being more scientific and more correct in the line we put out there we can better win over those at the margin who will be turned off by illogical statements. The revolutionary movement needs to work on educating people on incorrect ideas about racism and the material definition of national oppression. This will both help us recruit the support of others as well as be more successful in everything we do because of our own greater understanding of things as they are.

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[Censorship] [River North Correctional Center] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 44]
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Censorship of Literature without Review in Virginia

Enclosed is the grievance I submitted regarding ULK 39. As you may notice, the Chief of Corrections Operations A. David Robinson, upheld the decision of the Publication Review Committee to censor the publication. But if you read the third paragraph of Robinson's response you will notice he refers to the prison denying "the books." Obviously, Robinson failed to do his job.

His job is to review the publication to see if the censorship is justified. Since ULK 39 is a newsletter and not "books," he could not have reviewed them. Robinson is paid at least $50,000 annually (perhaps double that). Isn't that too much to pay a rubber stamp yes man?

People in combat zones get paid less than Robinson, yet he cannot be bothered to actually perform his duty. Instead he simply acts as a robot automatically approving the actions of his flunkies beneath him.

Also notice the date of the response is December 17, but I didn't receive it until January 20. I conjecture that the date is false - the man missed the 20-day deadline but back-dated it. He had only until 21 December to respond but he probably responded January 17.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is an example of just a few of the responses we get when attempting to fight censorship of MIM(Prisons) literature. There is never any legitimate reason behind the censorship, but it's easy for prison administrators to run our comrades around in circles with false claims and delays. These are very difficult to appeal because the appearance of a response to a grievance is sufficient for higher level rejections. Nonetheless, everyone who faces censorship should be appealing it, and we can provide a guide to fighting censorship for those who need some help. Please also report on the outcome of your appeals and let us know what support we can send to help with the fight. This is a critical part of the educational work we do behind bars.

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[Censorship] [Goose Creek Correctional Center] [Alaska] [ULK Issue 44]
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Alaska Update on Literature Censorship

As of January 2015, my access to copies of MIM Theory magazine in Goose Creek Correctional Center has been curtailed. Several days ago I was given a notice from the prison's mailroom that a "booklet" had been sent (it was MIM Theory 2/3) from "a vendor who is not on the approved list." Though this vendor approval policy was instituted DOC-wide in Alaska about two or three years ago, at every other facility I've been in, including two pre-trial jails, magazines and periodicals such as MIM Theory were exempt and I received every issue previously sent. So, apparently, there is only a problem at Goose Creek. I sent a request to the mailroom to consider the copy of MIM Theory a zine, with a denial coming back. My next step was to send a request to the security sergeant. The response from this officer was different. Now, apparently, I'm being denied because the pages of the magazine are "discolored" and therefore the conclusion is that the copy is "second-hand" and "used." Even though any "discoloration" would likely be because the magazine is 20 years old and printed on newsprint, it is still denied because used books are not allowed.

As of about a week ago I wrote a cop-out back saying that the copy is not used nor second-hand, but rather a back-copy — an issue that was kept in stock and never put into circulation. I made the analogy that it is the same as if I had ordered from Time a back issue of their magazine. I also pointed out that the sender is the same entity as the original publisher/distributor and hence the copy is obviously not used. I'm still, as of the time of this letter, awaiting a reply back, but thus far it's not looking encouraging. I also did ask that MIM Distributors be placed on the Approved Vendors List.

I intend on pursuing the matter as far as is necessary. I have not exhausted all avenues yet. I'm curious to know if anyone else has had similar issues regarding the specific reason I'm thus far being given for the withholding of the issue, and what remedies were taken.


MIM(Prisons) adds: In our experience with this particular reason for censorship, it is a coin toss whether the administration will submit to logical reasoning on whether to allow the magazine in. We don't have a specific recommendation on how to handle a claim that a magazine is used when it simply isn't. Often times we need to send in another copy of the magazine that hopefully looks newer, or that arrives on a day when a more rational mailroom staff persyn is working.

Censorship battles are particularly important for the prison-based revolutionary struggle because of the educational focus of our work right now. Our only option presently is to work with prisoners through the mail, and the political literature that we send in is the main way we spread information about political theory, history and current events. When our mail is cut off we lose a critical tool in our anti-imperialist organizing work. This comrade's reporting of censorship battles, and h work fighting the censorship, is a good example for others. A lot of mail we send out is returned back to us, and frequently mail is rejected without any notification as to why. We need people to appeal all cases of censorship, and notify us each time censorship happens. We can support these appeals with our own letters of protest, but only when we know the censorship is happening. Many of you receive Unconfirmed Mail Form letters from us asking you to tell us what mail you received. We appreciate all the responses to these form letters, and it would be even better if everyone kept us up to date on all mail received so we don't have to send out these forms. Remember, every time you write you should tell us everything you've received since you last wrote.

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[Spanish] [ULK Issue 44]
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Resumiendo las protestas del 9 de Septiembre

Durante los ultimos tres años, en el 9 de Septiembre prisioneros a lo largo del país se han juntado en una demostración de solidaridad en el aniversario de la revuelta en Attica. Fue iniciado por una organización que fue parte del Frente Unido por la Paz en las Prisiones. La organización ya no existe, pero nuevas organizaciones e individuos han seguido la lucha adelante.

Los organizadores llaman a activistas para que tomen este día para promover el Frente Unido por la Paz en Prisiones por construir unidad con compañeros cautivos, y demostrar resistencia a el sistema de injusticia ayunando, abstenerse de trabajo, dedicarse solo a acciones solidarias, y parar la hostilidad entre prisioneros. Las demostraciones en unas prisiones son grandes y hay muchos participantes, en otras solo unos cuantos prisioneros participan, y en otros lugares solo una persona se levanta. Pero cada acción, grande o pequeña, contribuye a criar conciencia para construir unidad.

Este año recibimos solo unos cuantos reportes de camaradas sobre sus trabajos de organizaciones del 9 de Septiembre. Esto es en contraste a los reportes de los pasados dos años que muestra interés que va creciendo y participación en este día de protestas. También es en contraste a la extendida respuesta y la organización alrededor de la petición Palestina por las camaradas de Lucha Unida del Interior (USW por sus siglas en inglés).

Estamos tomando esta oportunidad para re-evaluar la acción del 9 de Septiembre. La pregunta para los firmadores del Frente Unido por la Paz en Prisiones y Lucha Unida del Interior que se organizan: ¿Porqúe la organización del 9 de Septiembre día de paz y solidaridad fue tan limitado en el 2014? ¿Deberíamos hacer algo diferente en el 2015, ayudar a promover las acciones del 9 de Septiembre, o enfocarnos en otras campañas y protestas? Mandanos tus ideas para que podamos sumar y continuar a extender nuestro esfuerzo para parar la violencia entre prisioneros en el sistema de injusticia de los estados unidos.

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