Under Lock & Key Issue 72 - February 2021

Under Lock & Key

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out
[Organizing] [Texas] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Orientating USW Organizing Strategy in Light of Texas Victory

In Under Lock & Key 71 we promoted a campaign in Texas’ Allred Unit for phone access and video visits during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The campaign won this immediate goal, although the campaign included a list of 15 demands that included an end to long-term solitary confinement, good time credits, releases related to COVID-19, the right to vote and more that were not addressed. Below one of the leaders draws some lessons from the campaign. Both of the excerpts below are from discussions among USW leaders on current conditions for organizing in prisons.


A USW comrade in Texas: Seven days after the phone zap all prisoners in Restrictive Housing Unit (RHU), even those on level 3, began receiving free phone calls weekly. The admin bought cordless phones, there is one on each pod. Each day one section gets calls. There are only 6 sections per pod, so 1 day of the week is ‘stuck out phone call day’ for those who may’ve gotten moved, downgraded etc. So the zap and the strike were a success, but I also observed some keen lessons. Oh, before I say that let me say that the above arrangement is supposed to last until the OTS bluephones are installed. This is what we’ve been told, although I don’t believe it.

Now the lessons: #1. A more profound respect for the necessity to remain underground. This coincides with #2 which is that the masses, both those within the organized body (the rank & file) and outside that body, are EASILY pacified with the simplest reform because for most lumpen the “invincibility” of the state and admin remains intact. Therefore if in the event the admin actually budges in any way it is considered a monumental victory and complacency sets in. That’s what I’m dealing with now surrounded by masses on the “outside of the body.”

Backtracking to #1, I find myself surrounded by masses on the outside now because the admin was made privy to my position and influence among the active protagonists (Team One). As you know, I was isolated, rehoused. Since then some captives have used their outside contacts to apply pressure to admin – this resulted in the discontinued practice of isolation of dissidents on level 3 pods. Consequently I was moved again, and although things are favorable here in most ways, the point is that the admin’s success in separating the cadres has circumvented my attempt to mobilize peers to push the movement forward.

However, I truly think that once the ‘free’ calls are taken away, and it goes back to $15 for a 5 minute call, and no OTS phones have been made available, people will see exactly what I’ve been preaching to them the last 3 months or so, then the material conditions will be ripe again. In the meantime, I’m working on developing new cadres.


MIM(Prisons): The comrade above reported on repression and bad-jacketing efforts by the state, but has worked against them through mass contact and political education. While the focus of the campaign became the immediate goal of phone access during COVID-19, the demands highlighted much bigger concerns, including the end to long-term solitary confinement, which MIM(Prisons) has spent a lot of time campaigning for over the years. Another USW Leader addressed the issue of organizing around immediate, minor reforms in the USW leaders meeting while discussing local conditions in eir prison:


USW comrade N: The most pressing issues at this facility are of course important to all who feel strongly about them (i.e.: phone access to loved ones during the lockdown). However from an organizers’ perspective, these are not battles in which we can effectively push anti-imperialism forward, much less Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM), without veering into reformist practices of little tactical or strategic value. I am aware that arguments on principle can be mounted to the contrary, but absent a practicable, totalizing strategy for revolution domestically being put forward by an MLM organization that is actionable in the here-and-now (notwithstanding the exemplary work MIM(Prisons) has exhibited in their particular field of operations), we cannot effectively utilize many of these prison struggles as a proper springboard to corresponding actions in other areas, actions which do not translate into long-term pacification which benefits their prison administration in an objective, cost-to-us, benefit-to-them analysis.

If we cannot muster the resources and external manpower to mount a facility or state-specific campaign for a tactical reform to push our agenda and continually imprint firmly in the minds of all incarcerated that we have their best interests in mind, it may be advisable to abstain from participation lest credit for the reforms go elsewhere and becomes politically-neutered, or, worse yet, the system co-opts the struggle as its own and touts its successes (ie. The First-Step Act). Otherwise, we are gaining no more than sporadic traction amongst those we are attempting to revolutionize, and then only of a transient nature. We should not be trying to ‘improve’ American prisons, much like we should not be attempting to cut a bigger portion of imperialist profits from Third World super-exploitation for the lower class, yet still relatively privileged, citizens of empire.

If we are to engage in any prison organizing, then censorship battles concerning our political ideology, the UFPP and the Re-Lease on Life programs should take center stage. I find it harder to advocate quality-of-life reforms which are not linked to a totalizing revolutionary strategy outside the walls. Our goal is to radicalize those on the inside, for subsequent outside work. As for our comrades who do not have the luxury of a release date, or have sentences which essentially translate into the same, their best hope for release lies not in reforms but with an all-sided MLM revolutionary organization planning their release through eventual Peoples’ War. It goes without saying that for them, and for everyone suffering under American imperialism, the sooner, the better.

*In case it may not appear as such, all of the above is written in the spirit of “Unity-Struggle-Unity.”


MIM(Prisons) adds: Comrade N echoes MIM(Prisons) in calling for campaigns around censorship battles, building a United Front for Peace in Prisons and developing Re-Lease on Life programs. Ey reflects our general practice in shying away from inherently reformist campaigns; ones that do not contribute to our long-term goals and projects. We include the struggle against long-term isolation on that list, which Team One included in their demands, but was perhaps dismissed as a throwaway demand.

Our comrade in Texas suggests that organizing may start up again when the state doesn’t keep its promises. And we should note that it can be hard to separate out UFPP development work from reformist campaigns. Formations like Team One serve to unite different lumpen formations for common cause. With the correct leadership, and keeping our eyes on bigger goals like the UFPP, and uniting others around a list of more impactful demands, reformist campaigns like phone access could be productive. At this point we rely on the leaders of Team One to make that determination.

We think both the comrades here are contributing greatly to work on the ground and to developing the knowledge and line of our movement overall. We can also say that only focusing on the reformist campaigns, without the longer goals, is not going to change anything in regards to ending oppression and injustice. Scientific leadership liquidating its demands in the masses is an error that will not get us anywhere good either. We’ve seen many who say they unite with our goals but argue that the masses aren’t ready for them so they hide their true politics. This is called tailism, and it has not proven effective in building the communist movement.

Finally, Comrade N makes the point that we need a broader communist movement to be guiding our work in a strategic way. The fact that we are just a prison ministry focused on prisoner support, without a larger organization/formation to be guiding our work leads us much more susceptible to the trap of reformism. This is why it is important for us to be involved in the development of a broader communist movement in this country and to link up with other forces that have the correct orientation around key questions for communists.

chain
[COVID-19] [Mental Health] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

COVID-19 + Imperialism = Plague on the Health of the Oppressed

pig won\'t wear mask but klan hood

We mourn the hundreds of thousands of people who have died due to the incompentancy of the U.$. government from the federal to the local levels during this pandemic. Deaths in prisons from COVID-19 are at 2,173 as of 19 January 2021.(1) We know of one comrade in California who died who was working with a local USW cell.

In California, Governor Newsom put prisoners at the forefront of their vaccination roll out plan. However, things have not gone so smooth. All over the state vaccines are sitting unused, while they have opened up access to more than 10 times the number of people than they have vaccines for. According to the COVID Prison Project, which is tracking the vaccination of prisoners across the country, almost all of the 19,000 vaccinations administered through the California Department of Corrections and “rehabilitation” so far have gone to prison staff. Though California is one of a handful of states that have confirmed data of vaccinations having begun (currently at 65 prisoners).(1)

As infections and deaths reach record-breaking numbers every day, prisoners continue to be much more likely to be infected with SARS-COV-2 virus and they are more likely to die from COVID-19, despite the fact that the population in prisons is younger than those outside prisons. Old age is a very strong risk factor with COVID-19. This demonstrates that being in prison in the U.$. has a significant negative effect on your health status and the health care that you receive. It is very ironic. One would think that prisons are the most effective way to “stay inside” and get a population safe from a viral plague. The fact that prisons are rampant with this disease shows that “natural” disasters such as plagues, earthquakes, and floods are in fact bound with social relations just like all other things.

As you see in this issue of ULK, we continue to receive reports of lack of masks, staff not wearing masks, and infected prisoners being moved around and spreading the virus. With such lack of care demonstrated by those in charge, the higher death rates in prisons are no longer surprising.

On top of that, prisoners are suffering disproportionately from the conditions of shelter-in-place, nominally to stop the spread of the virus. The rest of the country gets to decide for themselves whether they want to follow best practices and stay at home and where a mask. As one might have predicted, this model failed horribly and is leading to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. But for prison staff, lockdowns are a routine affair. In many rural, white communities, sheriffs have refused to enforce state ordinances to promote public safety by sheltering in place. In prisons, correctional officers are happy to lock oppressed people in their cells for months with little access to the outside. This hypocrisy exposes the pigs true intentions.

Being in prison is about controlling all your time; the labor time you could have spent building up wealth and the leisure time you could have spent building your relationships and community. As mentioned above, being locked in a prison in the United $tates has a strong negative affect on your health status. It seems that many who don’t die from COVID-19, will have long-term effects. This will affect people’s ability to be productive and enjoy leisure time after being released from prison. U.$. prisons have long-term affects on peoples’ class and gender outcomes throughout their lives, especially for the oppressed nations which have less resources and support to overcome these setbacks.

Meanwhile, there is some pleasure involved on behalf of staff instituting lockdowns to make their jobs easier and refusing to wear masks because they “don’t feel like it.” Pleasure that would not exist for people who actually cared about others.

While there are economic reasons at the heart of why the oppressed always bear the brunt of “natural” disasters, there are cultural reasons as well. So much death and suffering could have been prevented in U.$. prisons without any affect on capitalist profits. And arguably, the U.$. economy would be doing better right now if the government had implemented better, clearer practices in society in general.

The struggle for basic health, including mental health and social connection, are struggles for basic humynity. Struggles we see falling more in the realm of gender than class, because it is not about economics and production. It is about transforming the relationships between people in a cultural way. A way that works to eliminate the possibility of one group finding pleasure in the oppression and suffering of another. We see the examples of the oppressed coming together in these conditions to struggle for basic humynity, and to build it between each other, as the early steps of a revolutionary transformation of national and gender relations in our society.

  1. https://covidprisonproject.com/covid-vaccine-doses/
chain
[Black Lives Matter] [Theory] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Talking Points for Our Movement

This year has been filled with misinformation, in the media that has been strategically broadcasted to mislead, antagonize and keep people divided. It is beyond my comprehension to understand how people reason with themselves to vote for people to office as their representatives without analysis of what is really going on. All year long the media broadcasts visible contradictions in everything these representatives say and do, yet no one questions or holds these representatives accountable for their actions and inactions.

Movement after movement has arose in opposition to inactions or actions of government officials, but to what end? or means? These movements proclaim this and that end or means but without any analysis of what is really taking place. I see no method for resolving these contradictions to any prosperous end through any known movement. Our movement (MIM(Prisons) and associates) are included in my analysis because of recent dissonance. The Spring 2020 ULK No. 70 publication attempts to demystify MIM’s failures, but has either forgotten or not published Mao Zedong’s cataloged weaknesses exhibited by themselves or the lumpen-proletarians as revolutionary soldiers. The following should be published as strong talking points for future issues:

  1. The military viewpoint – A tendency to regard fighting as the only task of the army, avoidance of such political tasks as educating and organizing the mass of the people, arming ’em and helping ’em to establish their own political power. Without this fight/politikal work the whole fight is lost and its meaning and the revolutionary a reason for existence.

  2. Extreme democracy – Aversion to discipline, each commander and soldier going their own way in a carefree manner.

  3. Absolute equalitarianism – A demand that everyone be treated alike regardless of circumstances; meanwhile no one is created equal.

  4. Subjectivism – Holding opinions and criticisms without a realistic examination of the facts and without regard for politikal principle, basing opinions on random talk and wishful thinking; focusing criticism on minor issues, petty defects and personal quirks. All of these only lead to mutual suspicion and unprincipled quarreling between people.

  5. Individualism – Vindictiveness, cliquism, the mercenary viewpoint; holding oneself responsible to individual leaders rather than to the revolution as a whole; Hedonism – an urgent desire for personal comfort and pleasure, longing to leave the hard life of struggle and find some softer spot.

  6. The idea of roving insurgents

  7. Adventurism – Acting blindly regardless of conditions and the state of mind of one’s forces; Slack discipline on the one hand but corporal punishment and the execution of deserters on the other, attempting to enforce rather than to inspire loyalty to cause.

These are the tenents we need to analyze and play on to prevent any challenges to our rule before the revolution begins and count on ’em to disrupt the revolution once it begins!

In Struggle.

chain
[Black Lives Matter] [New Afrika] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Amerika Declared War on New Afrika

black face man at Toronto BLM protest
A man is arrested after antagonizing Black Lives Matter demonstration in black face

Amerika declared war on New Afrika, first and foremost by the murdering of New Afrikan men, women and children and then imprisonment. Amerika made movies and television shows (the news) to publicly show other fellow white supremacists in and outside this country her kills and trophies. This was also to instill fear into the so-called blacks to not defend oneself from these eminent attacks on us.

Whether we are in these concentration camps or in the free society, Amerika is murdering us and are using us to Blackface this evil nation to try and gain freedom, justice, and equality with the Black Lives Matter movement. But they don’t give no credit to the originators of the phrase “Freedom, Justice and Equality”, who are those who come from the Moorish Science and the Nation of Islam.

Black Facing of Amerika is also the browning of Amerika… By the sexualization of our brothers’ phallus or Mandingo and our sisters’ big breast and booties, both sexes of the white nation exploit our reproductive organs for their own survival and our own destruction. Despite improvements in recent years, New Afrikan males are still more than 5 times likely to serve long prison terms than white males, and New Afrikan infants are still 3 times as likely to die than white ones. The prison is a major location of the control of New Afrikan sexuality and reproduction, which once took place on the slave plantation.

In The Man-Not, Tommy J. Curry explains,

“Enslaved Blacks were denied manhood and womanhood, they were defined as beasts of burden whose bodies were used at the discretion of whites. Violence against the enslaved took no gendered form. It was unbridled violence against Black bodies where rape was enacted against both sexes.” (p. 158)

“The prison subsumes the Black male self only as penis and flesh. In Soul on Ice, Cleaver notes that”the penis, virility, is of the Body. It is not of the Brain… [I]n the deal which the white man forced upon the [B]lack man, the [B]lack man was given the Body as his domain." Toward the end of the 1960s, Cleaver had already worked out the role white administrators (in both society and prison) determined for the Black penis: It was the symbol of pure animalistic brute sexual force, the criminal rapist beast." (p. 86)

This imperialist/capitalist nation white-washes us so they can be able to Black face in a whole new level. We must fight to defend our minds, our souls, and our bodies; fight to defend our elders, our children, our men and our women. It’s time to police our own neighborhoods as the rapper G Herbo said. It’s time to separate from the United $tates and become New Afrika. It’s time to depend on ourselves and ourselves only! Stand for what you know is truth or die for the lie$!

Remain Consciously Conscience

The Black petty bourgeoisie are in all areas of the socially oppressed and economically oppressed communities; from churches, schools, boards of directors, your city councilmen/women and especially the entertainment business. They’ve taken in these capitalist and imperialists’ potion (lies) and love the brief ecstasy it brings them. As a drug addict, you’re induced into a temporary high, and once the high is gone, you notice that you either need more or you could stop, but why should these talented Tenth, or house negroes want to become rehabilitated? They see and hear the truth but being conscious makes them believe they are in control. So unconscious becomes their mind state chemically-induced coma, while walking. It becomes almost as dangerous as their masters’ frame of work!

What is Blackface? It was originally a form of racist comedy put on by the Europeans in this country. They paint their faces and act as an ignorant black person. Then they transmutated that ideal and inserted its ideological substance there in our ancestors’ minds. In which, they begin to put on the Black face paint and act as ignorant as our captors did, believing it to be the only way to take back the “joke” from our oppressors. Sad to say it only amplified their criterion for a stronger potion (lies) for Us to take! Alchemy at its best.

Now that the chemical has arrived, it is slowly being administered to our children, or the “colorized people.” The black petty bourgeoisie begin to release statements such as: ‘You must work hard and not think about the environment you’re in! That is in order to succeed in life!’ Yet, I see the working class and many are still being feasted on by the ruling class parasitic capitalism!

We need to weed out these conscious but unconscious in our communities! For they are the potion of lies waiting to be administered to our present Brothers of Struggle and Sisters of Struggle (BOS and SOS) within the United Struggle from Within (USW). We must begin to insert our truth, the original truth(s) of our ancestors. It is the first vaccine, so to say, that will cause a chemical reaction to their lies. Next is where we sit at in these institutions of slavery. We must re-educate not only oneself, but our Brothers and Sisters of struggle, where you are currently held captive. Then call out those in our communities that wear this Black face.

Capitalism and imperialism was born by racism and colonialism, that’s why socialists and internationalists must be self-determined and head strong. Words are the deaf, dumb, and blind poison! Its transmutation becomes one’s actions, habits and then your way to death, self genocide! Remain consciously conscience.

Black Face of America

It has come to the attention of We, the politically intelligent mason prisoners of amerika in California, the sudden changes of opinion by U.S. society and its exploiter nation’s status quo to no longer look favorably on the social construct of cross dressing, make-up drag or Halloween costumes done in the fashion of Black face. This narrative goes to draw a connection to the false information campaigns led by the bourgeois pop culture executives in order to keep the population of exploiter nations like the U.S. in a state of false security and economical privilege as underdeveloped nations around it suffers.

No white man, woman, or child should be caught painting their face Black - especially those who hope to have a career in social politics. Question is, when Blackness is not only a state of mind, but also the substance of which all things are manifested from, including the outer orbits of space called the Universe, is Blackface really that wrong?

When being Blackface isn’t at all that easily escapable for the darker shades of humanity, and is actually necessary in the national suicide process of neo-Nazi defectors and Euro-amerikan/white supporters of New Afrikan liberation by reparations, repatriation and total autonomy for all things indigenous to Afrika. And really, who of us doesn’t want to claim a little Afrika, aka Blackness for ourself?

Facts are that people have been tanning since the beginning of Egyptian/Summarian civilizations. So why is it currently being blasted all over capitalist news media broadcasting stations that this Black facing is a national catastrophe in need of most attention and immediate gratification?

It’s just that; immediate gratification, something that has very little to do with solving long-term conflicts in any given phenomenon, but instead is a diversion in interest of the long-term imperialist agenda to bourgeoisify the entire world with the capitalist systems of greed, ignorance and destruction.

Anyway, Halloween and its costume parties aren’t the subject in need of discussion. What is most needed for the politically inclined to wake their game up in is the why questions posed by brothers and sisters of the African National Prisoners Organization (ANPO) and New Afrikan Shamaan (NAS). Why does the devil call our people black? Or even African for that matter?

This is a subject that has begun to resurface in prisons, in such a way that it has been the reason for violent group altercations and segregated populations, resembling the Jim Crow south. (Jim Crow was a famous Black face character performed by a white entertainer.)

When Black Face Goes Bad

In California prisons, the segregation issue is at an all time high because it is a culture that is integrated so deeply amongst the population that Blacks segregate themselves into groups amongst themselves. There are those who consider themselves to be African-American, those who consider themselves Negroes, those who say they are Black and those who struggle for national independence under a variety of terms, for example the Asiatic Free Moors and the New Afrikan.

There is a very real divide between these populations that needs to be consolidated if it is to be that prisoners as a whole will ever come together in peace to face the exploiters. Where prisoners as a whole are made up of several nationalities, that will play a powerful role in a united effort to overthrow the current prison structures. Every national population must seriously organize itself in a Community Social Accountability Regiment to draw the lines between the political divides within We the oppressed internal semi-colonies of the oppressor nation, Amerika, if We are to ever get beyond failed hunger strikes and commissary boycotts. Though the immediate gratifications offer a temporary relief from the pressures of confinement. We escape to Walt Disney’s World of mystic illusions, the state department is still subjecting We all to toxic prison conditions. And as long as We are a divide between who isn’t Black and the argument that this whole entire damn planet is Black, We shall remain a population of social rejects, ignorant to the science of self.

chain
[MIM(Prisons)] [California] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Help Fund MIM (Prisons)! Donate Now!

help fund MIM(Prisons)

The year 2020 was hectic and alarming to say the least. From Pre$ident Donald Chump’s outrageous attempts to wrestle power away from the traditional bourgeoisie, to COVID-19, which threw the entire world for a loop and tragically ended the lives of over a million people, mostly in the Third World. The year 2020 has been one in which the already ugly face of imperialism has been peeled back far enough to where even first worlders could catch a glimpse of what’s hidden underneath.

The depravity of Amerikkkans’ twisted desires for a return to a social order in which Amerikkka is clearly and definitively on top has been on full display for the world to see. From the extra-judicial killing of New Afrikans and other oppressed nation people by law enforcement, to the lynching of New Afrikans in liberal Los Angeles County, Califaztlán; the principal contradiction of Amerikkka vs the oppressed nations remains the existential threat to the people of the internal semi-colonies. As such, what has been made clear to revolutionaries from the oppressed nations is the urgent need to organize the [email protected], New Afrikan, and First Nations along communist lines. One of the few organizations in the United $tates attempting to do this is the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons (MIM Prisons).

As is already widely known by U.$. prisoners, a U.$. federal court has ruled that prisoners cannot be excluded from applying for and receiving economic relief under the CARES Act. This decision allowed for thousands of captives to receive $1,200 stimulus checks with more already on the way.

As an anti-imperialist who’s worked with MIM(Prisons) for almost two decades I have requested and received a plethora of study materials from them, most free of charge. In 2015, MIM(Prisons) released [email protected] Power and the Struggle For Aztlán, which focuses on the hystory, present, and future struggles of the [email protected] nation from a Maoist perspective. This project was very expensive and pushed back the release of MIM(Prisons) own contemporary text, The Lumpen Handbook.

MIM(Prisons) is not a huge organization, nor do they have the big name recognition which other more amorphous groups with opportunist politics do. What they do have, however, is a correct political line for the liberation of the internal semi-colonies and a communist cadre committed to serving the imprisoned masses. So if you believe in struggling for an Aztlán libre then one thing you can do at this time is send a donation to MIM(Prisons). Sending money to them will help fund not only the next issue of Under Lock and Key, but the free Books to Prisoners program. If you believe that Black Lives Matter, then donate to MIM(Prisons) and continue funding the education of revolutionaries behind prison walls.

Let us then take this opportunity to contribute to the anti-imperialist movement to end the oppression and exploitation of the oppressed nations by U.$. imperialism by giving something back to MIM(Prisons) after they’ve spent years giving us so much.

[NOTE: For ways to donate, please see our get involved page. We are working on a second printing of [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán, if you want to pre-order a copy just let us know when you send your donation of $20 or more.]

chain
[Fascism] [Principal Contradiction] [White Nationalism] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Capitol Seizure Demonstrates Need for New Democracy

protestor carries confederate flag through U.S. Capitol

The seizure of the Capitol on 6 January 2021 was the culmination of oppressor nation organizing over years that has proven the continued need for New Democratic revolution here in North America, what many First Nations people today call occupied Turtle Island. Participants in the siege donned racist Odinist tattoos, pro-holocaust slogans, anti-China signs, and waved pro-slavery and nazi flags. Most had Amerikan flags or pro-Trump flags, hats and shirts. They included QAnon followers, Tea Party members, elected officials, Proud Boys, and leaders of a number of fascist organizations and groupings.

Media reported five deaths, including one U.S. Capitol Police officer and four pro-Trump rioters. Those killed during the siege included a womyn shot by security for trying to crawl through a smashed window to get to the Senators, a man who reportedly tasered himself to death while trying to steal a painting off the wall and a cop who was beaten to death with sticks, including one carrying an Amerikan flag, while the audience sang The Star-Spangled Banner. The latter, Brian Sicknick, served the imperialist army in Afghanistan and was an outspoken supporter of President Trump.(1)

The group who laid siege to the Capitol did so in response to calls from President Trump to oppose the election results that has Joe Biden scheduled to replace him on 20 January. As the mob took swings at police and smashed through barricades, they chanted, “USA, USA!”, “Stop the Steal” and called out the Democrats and CNN as primary targets of their anger. By denying the outcome of the election, this organized force is allied with efforts to deny New Afrikans, and other oppressed groups, the vote. These front-line Trump supporters militantly deny the right of [email protected] to even exist on their own land, not to mention control it. And they generally support the incursion of multinational corporations into the small fragments of territory left to the other indigenous peoples of this continent. They want to keep Muslims and Asians out of the United $tates, whether its because of terrorism, a virus, or some other semi-factual excuse for xenophobia. They fear the browning of the U.$. population.

Regarding the vote, the shift of Georgia from Republican to Democrat marked for these settlers another step towards the end of white domination on occupied Turtle Island. Newly-elected Senator Raphael Warnock is the first Black senator in the state of Georgia, which was 31.94% New Afrikan and 51.82% white (“non-hispanic”) in 2019 (in a country that is about 12% New Afrikan overall). In recent years, “non-hispanic” whites have only accounted for about 44% of births in the state.(2). Warnock comes from the same church as Martin Luther King Jr., where Warnock was Pastor for former representative John Lewis. MLK of course was a symbol of multicultural integration that brought much ire and hatred during eir short life, leading to eir assassination. The current period is the culmination of the reaction to the attempts by the bourgeois state to incorporate those ideas of King’s into the empire. After the abolition of slavery, the Federal government made the first attempt at granting New Afrika democratic rights and full citizenship by imposing Reconstruction policies on the southern states. These were mostly undone by white settlers by the by the 1876 presidential election, which led to the Jim Crow policies(3) (maintained by violent voter suppression of New Afrikans) until the time of MLK and the Black Panther Party. The movement today is to undo the progress of integration that followed the civil rights and national liberation movements of the 1960s. Rioters literally marched confederate flags through the Capitol, after fighting their way in, in 2021.

In 2020, Georgia also saw shows of force from New Afrikan militia, and lumpen organizations coming together to seize the site of a police murder, and defend from threats by groups like the 3 Percenters and Ku Klux Klan from coming into Atlanta.(4) While New Afrikans band together in self-defense, the oppressor nation has made it clear they are now on the offense with their seizure of the U.$. Capitol. They brought firearms, pipe bombs and nooses as they called for the blood of Vice President Mike Pence and others. Men who entered the Capitol carried fire arms and one had seized zip tie handcuffs, ready to take hostages and possibly assassinate Federal representatives, including the Vice President. When officials escaped, the intruders settled for posing for photos in their office chairs and taking memorabilia off the Senators’ desks and walls.

Economics of the Crisis

Social media posts by leaders promoting the action on 6 January are also calling for the assassination of Mitch McConnell and Republicans in general for blocking the $2000 stimulus check currently backed by Trump and the Democratic Congressional leadership. The battle over stimulus funding (to respond to COVID-19 restrictions) in recent weeks has been a great demonstration of the relationship between classes under imperialism. The wealth flowing into this country is split between the imperialists and the rest of the population. The stimulus bills were a clear demonstration of this, with big corporations getting 100s of millions to billions in benefits, while the rest of the country averaged thousands of dollars per persyn. Most people in the world received little to no money.

The printing of money by the U.$. central bank since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in history. With so many more dollars in circulation, economists wonder whether this money can be exchanged for goods at the value one would expect. Many Third World countries have seen depreciation of their currencies compared to the U.$. dollar as finance capital left those countries in response to the pandemic. For the dollar to maintain its value, the empire must stay strong. We’ve already seen a decrease in Japanese and Chinese finance capital from U.$. treasuries in the last year.(5) Japan and China are the two largest foreign holders of U.$. treasuries.

The people of Weimar Germany (prior to the popular Nazi takeover) faced conditions where what they were paid one day could not buy a loaf of bread the next. This was due to having lost WWI and facing sanctions from other imperialist countries. The U.$. has not yet faced this problem, but they are having to do more to stabilize their own currency and economy. If the white nationalists had their way, and productive labor from Latin America and Asia was forced out of U.$. borders, we would see the dollar decrease in value very quickly. While dollar values have not declined yet, the situation is quite precarious, especially as productive output of the economy remains slow.

What Will Happen Next?

Senators who were calling the election a fraud backed off immediately following the siege, proving it was just a popularity game to them. Yet some who forced their way into the Capitol, came ready to die that day. This is curious, as economic conditions in this country do not yet warrant such extremism, especially for the demographic showing up at these demonstrations. Many on the front lines of the siege are steeped in conspiracy theories. These theories tap into a deep existential fear they have of the ending of their white country. Something many of them feel has already happened.

amerikans seize capitol

While the attacks of 9/11 were a blow to the sense that Amerikans could have their fingers in every other part of the world, while staying safe at home, the response was a show of strength through Amerikan nationalism. Since then, the U.$. image continued to decline with more lost wars and humyn rights abuses abroad and at home. This week’s attack on the Capitol marks an internal weakening from within.

There is no god coming down to purify the crackers’ souls in the rapture. Nor can Turner Diary-style fantasies resolve the contradictions that define this imperialist country. A re-civilization of the oppressor nations must come from the hands of the oppressed. Having one side of the oppressor nation try to cajole the other into giving the oppressed what they think they need, or rather what they think will appease, has proven ineffective over the last 150 years. The oppressed nations occupied on this land must seize their own destinies. They must rise up for a New Democracy, where they as sovereign peoples can decide how to solve their own problems without the constant oversight and interference of the euro-Amerikan.

We support the continued development of New Afrikan defense organizing in places like Atlanta, that is based in real revolutionary nationalism – which as Mao said is applied internationalism. We re-iterate the call for Barrio Committees in Aztlan, as outlined in the book [email protected] Power and the Struggle for Aztlán. We all need to connect with those in our communities that are ready to respond.

With regards to those that are already familiar and well versed with Marixt-Leninist-Maoist political philosophy, we must call for discipline and centralized organization. Most major cities’ “radical scenes” are dominated by anarcho-liberals who preach on voting for the Democratic party one day and preach for militant direct action the next day. Even amongst the more militant and anti-reformist anarchists, there are a lot of poorly organized forms of violence that fleets in energy. Us communists should work towards building independent institutions that the people can go to to solve their daily material problems – not have loosely affiliated cliques that serve themselves more than the masses.

Another test of principled actions that many communists failed was the reliance and aid to the existing bourgeois institutions such as the FBI and the police. Many radical liberals online have resorted to identifying the Capitol Hill fascists for the police agencies while also hoping these police institutions can repress the fascist movement. The Communist Party of India (Maoist) have had the correct response to this regarding the issue of rape in the country of India. Whereas petty-bourgeois movements call for the death penalty and stronger punishments for rapists in the semi-feudal country, the Maoists recognize that rape is not alien to the system and stronger state forces against these anti-people crimes will result in stronger state repression against the masses.(6) And just like how relying on the bourgeois state to give justice in India will result in the repression against the masses, these acts by radical liberals of relying on the FBI and the police departments will only result in more surveillance and crackdowns on the oppressed people.

Notes:
1. Grace Hauck et al., 8 January 2021, Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who died after pro-Trump riot was veteran and war critic, USA Today.
2. U.S. Census Bureau data via Wikipedia
3. the name Jim Crow comes from a character from a famous black face performance by a white entertainer 4. Greyhound, July 2020, On the Tragic Death-of Secoriea Turner, Under Lock & Key No. 71.
5. Reuters, 15 December 2020, China, Japan cut U.S. Treasury holdings in October -data 6. CPI(Maoist), December, 2012, Fight Against Patriarchy, Not Only Against Rape!, Towards a new dawn.

chain
[Censorship] [Federal Correctional Institution Manchester] [Federal] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

FCI Manchester Continues with Rogue Censorship Rules

I have enclosed a bulletin that has been enforced on us here at Federal Correctional Institution - Manchester. I don’t think it’s legal but have no way to find out either way. So I’m reaching out for any help in this matter. This is not Federal Bureau of Prisons policy, only here and by this warden.

The bulletin reads in part:

“Effective February 8, 2021, the following procedures will be implemented for ordering any book. There will be a book”catalog“, placed in Education. The catalog will be the only vendor authorized… any books ordered through any other vendor or purchased by family members will not be accepted into the facility.”

MIM(Prisons) responds: The Human Rights Defense Center (Prison Legal News) already fought them on this and won 2 years ago. They will be contacting the counsel representing the prison to put a stop to this again.

The oppressor continues to break their own laws to prevent the oppressed from accessing information. The other issue we are having at this same facility is a restriction to only 5 one-sided pieces of paper per envelope. This prevents comrades there from receiving any of our resource guides or study assignments. If you have any information to provide on either of these issues please get in touch so we can hold them accountable.

chain
[Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [First World Lumpen] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

King Von's Passing and Lumpen Hip-Hop Culture

King Von

King Von’s Passing

Recently, rising Chicago rapper King Von has been shot and killed in an Atlanta nightclub at the age of 26.(1) Born as David Daquan Bennett, King Von was associated with the lumpen organization “Black Disciples” and was close childhood friends with other notable Chicago figures such as rapper Chief Keef and Lil Durk. While there were rumors that he was the grandson of David Barksdale, the founder of the Black Disciplies, there have been no notable proofs confirming this fact.(2) However, he was given the nickname “Grandson” amongst older B.D. members while he was in prison due to his demeanor reminding the older prisoners of David Barksdale.

The shooting happened when King Von and Quando Rondo’s affiliates started to confront each other in the nightclub. Sooner or later, a fistfight occurred which resulted in guns being drawn. There was also two off-duty police officers that were present in the shooting.(3) Alongside King Von, two other men were killed with many others injured.(4)

Due to the news and social media’s coverage of this shooting, both camps – the Georgia L.O.s affiliated with Quando Rondo and the Chicago L.O.s affiliated with King Von – have publicly threatened each other on social media. Quando Rondo – who survived the altercation – has had his concerts canceled while social media gossip has poured fuel into the fire.

What we aim to do with this article isn’t to take sides on which party was in the right or wrong. While our articles like to point out that lumpen organizations have revolutionary potential, we also emphasize the dual nature of the lumpen class and the reactionary side of these organizations. “Gang” conflicts have done immense jobs in sowing divisions among the oppressed. With Hip-Hop music and “Gangster rap” becoming a nationwide phenomena, the music and culture of the oppressed nation lumpen have added fuel to the fire. We encourage our readers to go beyond the diss tracks while also not falling for the trap of individual survival and apathy – ultimately, they will return the oppressed back into chaos.

While serving as fuel of lumpen violence, these expressions also show the righteous resentment to society harbored by the most lowest sections of the oppressed – especially the youth. The fact that the amerikan patriarchs are so adamant that mere music infecting white children into delinquency and drugs shows an interesting trend in youth of all nations in the U.$. expressing their alienation towards capitalism.

Drill Culture in Inner Cities

Hip-Hop as a genre started in the east coast cities in the late 70s and early 80s. It wasn’t just simply a genre of music like the amerikan music critics would like to believe, but a mass expression of oppressed nation lumpen youth who dominated the Hip-Hop Scene. From the clothes, the hairstyles, graffiti, and dance all the way to the rapping has become a form of expressing the fear, anger, and righteousness that the Black/Puerto Rican youth who lived in the police state-like conditions in the inner cities.

What was called “Reality Rap” reflected the early pre-scientific consciousness of these lumpen youth. The bleak portrayal of amerikan cities flipped the idea of the amerikan dream and the bourgeois ubermensch making profit and “getting theirs” on its head. After all, if the “founding fathers” and the “captains of industry” could become the revered mega-rich through criminal acts such as slavery and thuggish exploitation, why can’t the corner boy dealing dope one day become a CEO of a mega corporation one day? Would it be so much more wrong to sell drugs to get a head start compared to selling people?

This also sheds light on how the hip-hop industry is a big way for the lowest section of the masses to become a national bourgeoisie or even a comprador bourgeoisie in the oppressed nations. Former street rappers turned CEO of record labels often end up being the one exploiting the oppressed nation masses in the ghettos and barrios themselves. In some cases, these musicians will end up exploiting the international proletariat in the Third World.(5)

While hip-hop in general has been becoming a bureaucratized multi-million dollar industry for the amerikans, the “drill music” scene has arisen from urban areas – notably Chicago. Lumpen Organizations in the country’s murder capital have often used music videos and rap lyrics to diss their rivals and the dead. The lingo that was used only in certain blocks and neighborhoods of Southside Chicago can now be heard from all major cities in the United $tates from Atlanta to Los Angeles. There is something to be said that social media and the internet has made the culture of Oppressed Nation diaspora – in this case Lumpen “drill” culture – more interconnected. New Afrikan L.O.s in Chicago now have a strong hold in the deep south in cities such as Atlanta and L.O.s who previously have never made contact with each other might start to form beefs.

NGO Tactics VS Building Independent Political Power

Peace treaties, alliances, and betrayals between lumpen organizations have been going on forever. Organizations from the Nation of Islam to the countless Non-Governmental Organizations have attempted to build peace in the ghettos and the barrios. However, building treaties can only go so far unless the root of the problem is attacked and made aware by the masses. The conflict of the L.O.s are bigger than individuals and sets. They are a bloody symptom of amerikan capitalism. Even if every Blood and Crip individual goes through psychological rehabilitation and shake hands with each other, more “gangs” will rise with the next generation. Oftentimes, the “rehabilitated” individuals end up back to the lumpen life within a year due to the political-economical instabilities in these areas; and many “peace treaties” are more so ceasefires to have the dope business in a more stable control.

Despite decades of these peace treaties, we are still in the very early stages of being able to unite the lumpen masses. Leaders within prisons working to push the United Front for Peace in Prisons can speak to this from experience. The story of the state isolating the conscious leader and the masses returning to oppressed-on-oppressed violence is all to common. Others have tried to revolutionize their whole L.O., and failed. While the leadership is there, we have not yet created the conditions that make this a viable path for the masses as a whole. That is the challenge we face as we continue to build revolutionary leadership that has a plan to end capitalism, and find ways to offer incentives for the masses to abandon the current system and risk their lives for a new tomorrow.

Notes:
1. Alex Zidel, November 06, 2020, “King Von Reportedly In Critical Condition After Shoot Out With Quando Rondo’s Crew,” Hot New Hip Hop.
2.Olivia Olphin, December 01, 2020, “Was King Von David Barksdale’s grandson? Rumour explained,” The Focus.
3. Emmanuel Camarillo, November 6, 2020, “Chicago Rapper King Von Killed in Atlanta Shooting,” Chicago Sun Times.
4. Rebekah Riess, November 7, 2020, “Rapper King Von shot and killed outside Atlanta nightclub,” CNN.
5. Sirin Kale, May 17, 2016, “How Much It Sucks to Be a Sri Lankan Worker Making Beyoncé’s New Clothing Line,” Vice.

chain
[International Connections] [United Front] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Internationalism in the United Front

Internationalism - A policy of cooperation among nations, esp. in politics and economy. (Webster’s New Basic Dictionary)

Internationalism is the basis of building a United Front with all concerning the same political & ideological line that is relevant to the People; social, political, military, and economic needs to produce equality, independence and land. Internationalism is mainly pushed to build a strategy within theory & practice against the oppressor and to stretch its resources of economics, military and allies out to the point of weakness to either attack or defend in order to control and secure its power.

If everyone is on the same accord politically & ideologically within a true socialist/communist aspect, while really practicing the theories and strategies given through history and philosophy within their conditions NOW to further design solutions in socialist/communist theory & practice to accommodate betterment of our existence through the stages to lead to the weakness of capitalism/imperialism nationally (locally & regionally) & internationally (other countries).

When we tend to practice nationalism in an aspect of Mao [editor: revolutionary nationalism] it shows a sense of commonality to others that are nationally oppressed and helps them understand the true scientific socialist way/dialectical materialist way. This observation is a common point of the same struggles against capitalism/imperialism oppressors where the oppressed is just of different nationalities but concerns the same fight of human rights being violated socially, politically, militarily & economically. That’s why internationalism is a bridge to a strenuous fight towards ending capitalism/imperialism and also helping with resources needed to continue our survival now, during, and after the time is here, seized and power is taken to rebuild land, necessities and socialist government structure until a communist way of life can be obtained.

Once the capitalist/imperialist oppressors and its allies have been stretched over the world, thinning out it’s security & structure, then would be a time to take action militarily due to no proper defense system. It is our job to ensure that the People everywhere are at a conscious state at that time through revolutionary stages to properly prepare & plan it’s strategic tactics within a People’s War.

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Unite or Die

This is a galvanizing poetic call 2 action,
The Soledad Comrade, George Jackson,
Once declared: “capitalism is the enemy,”
Meaning: you and me,
The common man and woman of poverty,
Are more family than enemy,
Because we are poor,
Fighting a common enemy of imperial elite capitalism,
Not 2 allude 2 the day 2 day,
Systemic Amerikkkan racism,
There’s truly no time,
For us 2 be killing and fighting each other,
When in arms together,
We are sista and brotha,
Therefore we must come together,
In a clenched fist alliance,
A peaceful defiant display,
Of unity and excellence,
Unite or die,
Is a true rallying cry,
Wherefore, we must join forces,
And overthrow the corrupt, racist, imperialist,
Capitalist Amerikkkan government,
Ergo, the clenched fist alliance,
A resolute display of resistance,
And defiance,
There’s no time 2 pray,
March and cry,
It’s either unite or die,
Truly, unity is the most dominant,
In the face of all inequality,
We are living in a truly,
Provocative span of time,
So what is it going 2 be,
Unite or die,
And commit 2 memory: “Capitalism is the enemy.”
We must unite or die.
chain
[Migrants] [Release] [Civil Liberties] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Parole Options Denied to non-Citizens in United $tates

I am a citizen of Colombia. In 1993, I was sentenced to a 45 year prison term, here in Texas. I was to serve 22 1/2 years before I would be eligible for parole. While serving my time, I was summoned to an immigration court, where an ICE judge informed me that upon release from the custody of TDCJ, I was to be transferred to an immigration facility where I would await deportation.

On 25 March 2016 parole denied my release for these reasons:

  1. The record indicated that the offender has repeatedly committed criminal episodes that indicate a predisposition to commit criminal acts upon release.

  2. The record indicates the instant offense has elements of brutality, violence, assaultive behavior, or conscious selection of victims vulnerability indicating a conscious disregard for the lives, safety, or property of others such that offender poses a continuing threat to public safety. (3 year set off after serving 22 1/2 years)

On 14 May 2019 set-off again, for the same reasons. (3 year set-off). I committed a crime when I was 21 years old. I’ve been in prison for the past 27 years, where I’ve never had a single altercation. In 2007, while taking my GED a new law was passed, prohibiting prisoners with immigration detainers from participating in school activities; I was kicked out of school. (parole uses me not having a GED against me each time I come up for parole). I’ve taken Bridges to Life, Voyager, Peer to Peer, Job Skills, Over Comers, Tutoring, and at the moment I’m finishing Cognitive Intervention. My last infraction (case) was in 2014, six years ago.

The parole board here in Texas has its own agenda as far as who will be released and who won’t. When a prisoner comes up for parole, the prisoner can’t speak on his own behalf. No type of evaluation is conducted to see if the prisoner is ready for society. It’s all done through paper work. The board members review each folder for no more than 3 minutes and come to a decision. How can a proper review be done in 3 minutes? At the moment I’m on my second three year set-off. I am being set off for the same reasons over and over again. How can I be a continuing threat to public safety, if I’m not even going to be in the United States?

How can the parole board state that I’m a violent person? In 27 years of being in a violent environment such as prison, I’ve not even had a single fight. I have no type of violent infractions (cases) towards prisoners nor officers. That itself should show a pattern of change. There’s a lot of prisoners (who will be deported) being held in Texas prisons, under numerous set-offs, because we have no voice out there and the state can abuse its power and claim we’re not ready for society or we’re being rehabilitated, but what the public doesn’t know is that there is no rehabilitation here, there’s more drugs and corruption in this place than out there. The only reason we’re being kept is for the federal funds these prisons receive.

I humbly request that our comrades at MIM please help spread the word about the injustice that the parole board and its associates commit against prisoners who will be deported and have no voice to help them out there. I thank you very much for your attention to my letter. God bless each of you.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Concentration camps for migrants without U.$. citizenship are the one sector of the Amerikan prison system where private prisons have been widely used. This puts another level of financial incentive into the criminal injustice system as this comrade points out. In a system built on profit, and not people, there will always be injustice.

Meanwhile, the lack of rehabilitation is not unique to migrant camps. At this stage, we build or Serve the People Re-Lease on Life program to help our comrades transitioning out of prisons. But for many, like this comrade, they just aren’t getting out because of financial incentives, and the need to control oppressed people to prevent social change.

In every issue of ULK we indicate our alternative to this system (see p.2). We propose a system where the real criminals are imprisoned; the people who have stolen thousands of lives by locking up hard working people, or bombing their homelands. And a system where everyone has access to all the resources they need for rehabilitation. Even those outside of prison need to transform themselves for a new world based on a common humynity. We are all shaped by the current system. Check out Prisoners of Liberation by Allyn and Adele Rickett for a glimpse at what socialist prisons can be like. ($5 stamps/cash or work trade from MIM Distributors)

chain
[Civil Liberties] [Political Repression] [Censorship] [Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs] [Halifax Correctional Unit] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

On Fascist Censorship of 'The FBI War on Tupac & Black Leaders' in VA Prisons

Virginia censors FBI's War on Tupac

On Fascist Censorship

In early June, a book arrived here at this facility that was intended as a birthday gift from my family. The day the book arrived I asked the property officers if I had received any books and they responded “No,” despite the fact that my sister confirmed that the book had arrived. When I informed the staff that I had gotten my family to track the package the staff acted even more standoffish, dismissive and suspicious. I suspected this type of behavior from the staff was due to the very controversial information contained in the book, but still, knowing my rights and also the purpose of the First Amendment I would not tolerate it without taking necessary legal action.

Almost ten days after the book had arrived the only thing I was given was a ‘Notification of Publication Disapproval Form’ that was signed by the Warden. But I was told the book wasn’t here, correct?

The Warden, property office and mailroom clerk all stated falsely that the book contained “material that promoted violence, terrorism or criminal activity that violated state & federal guidelines.” I know this is not even remotely the case, being that I actually read the book in 2014 prior to my incarceration. Knowing this I was highly offended & saw the property officer’s actions and reasons for violating my First Amendment rights as not only an attempt to impede on my freedom of speech but also as an insult to my intelligence. The definition of ‘promote’ is ‘to advocate’ so I forced the staff to prove, legally, that this book, entitled The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders ‘promoted’ or ‘advocated’ ‘violent acts’ or ‘terrorism.’ Close examination of this book will prove anything but that.

The book actually promotes the opposite – principles almost identical with those of the United Struggle from Within and MIM(Prisons). It promotes Peace, Unity & Solidarity between tribes, gangs and lumpen organizations. And it also depicts the violent, cold-blooded & terrorist acts committed by the FBI, the CIA & local police forces in Amerikkka. We call this domestic, or, homegrown terrorism, used to reinforce the fascist policies of the capitalist social order.

My first action to get my book was to file informal complaints & grievances for violation of my First Amendment rights as well as Operating Procedures code 803.2 on the rights of prisoners receiving publications. Operating Procedure 803.2 clearly states that if the Warden or property officer found something ‘questionable’ about any publication or literature sent to an inmate then the inmate is to be notified and consulted before the officer in charge of passing out property takes further action. Then the inmate is given three options:

  1. Have the book sent home.
  2. Have the book sent to the Publication Review Committee.
  3. Have the book destroyed.

The primary issue is that I wasn’t allowed the liberty to explain to the staff what the book was really about & that I never gave them the consent to hold or send the book to the Publication Review Committee (or ‘PRC’), as they claimed they had done. So, in fact, code 803.2 was violated by the property officer and the warden who signed the Publication Disapproval form which lacked my signature of consent.

This is a perfect example of fascist style censorship and violation of First Amendment rights within the Virginia Department of Corrections (D.O.C.). As Operating Procedures Code 803.2 states, “Offenders at D.O.C. institutions should be allowed to subscribe to, order, and receive publications direct from any vendor – so long as the publication does not pose a threat to the security, discipline and good order of the facility and it is not determined detrimental to offender rehabilitation.” As I mentioned earlier, Potash’s book would reveal to the reader that it actually promotes peace, unity & solidarity between tribes, gangs and lumpen organizations (very similar to the Maoist-promoted United Front for Peace in Prisons policies).

I also talked to an institutional lawyer who was very helpful & who also agreed with me 100% concerning the book. He looked up the title of the book while I was on the phone with him and he quickly observed, in his own words, that this was a very “historical” and “political” work. Policy 803.2 clearly states “educational and historic publications are not detrimental to offender rehabilitation” and that when it comes to disapproval of literature, “this criterion shall not be used to exclude publications that describe such [violent] acts in the context of a story or moral teaching unless the description of such acts is the primary purpose of the publication. No publication generally recognized as having literary value should be excluded under this criterion.”

Point of fact, the so called ‘violent acts’ or ‘terrorist acts’ that the property officer tried to use to keep me from getting this book are actually committed by none other than Law Enforcement and also covertly ‘promoted’ by the intelligence community who controls the mainstream media and who work in collusion with the local police who, as we observe on the daily news, continue to beat, shoot and murder innocent men, women and children, which can only be described as very ‘violent’ and ‘terrorist’ acts.

After constant confrontation & inquiry the staff finally gave me my book on 3 September 2020, but still tried to use psychological manipulation to make it seem as if I were the one who had done something wrong. They said I had ‘raised hell’ and caused a lot of trouble about the book when all they had to do was give the book to me to avoid all this.

On John Potash’s The FBI War on Tupac Shakur & Black Leaders

The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders was written by an activist and investigative journalist John Potash. He describes and documents historic events in comparison with more current events and describes, using documents & eye-witness accounts, how the U.S. intelligence & FBI target, assassinate, harass and imprison all individuals & organizations (Black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American) that ‘promoted’ & practiced ideas that were contrary to mainstream capitalist & fascist indoctrination that challenged the social order and the establishment’s chokehold on 90% of the world’s resources.

J. Edgar Hoover (former director of the FBI) once stated that the FBI must “stop the rise of a black messiah or anyone who could radicalize the civil rights movement”, “by any means necessary.” Meaning harassment, imprisonment and trumped up charges, destruction of public image or assassination. There are countless leaders; Black, white, Latino & Native American who met this messianic description and all of them fell under the cruel fate of COINTELPRO – including Mutulu Shakur, Afeni Shakur, Tupac Amarau Shakur and many of his relatives.

Potash describes Mutulu, Tupac & Afeni’s efforts to create peace between the Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Black P. Stone Rangers, Latin Kings & Young Lords and also to convert them into political organizations that would serve the communities that they exist in. This program is a direct influence of Huey P. Newton & Bobby Seale’s strategy that was used to create the Brown Berets, Chinese Red Guard and the Young Lords.

Potash also details the predatory and very cold blooded nature of the ‘Far Right’ neo-conservative, fascist & capitalist powers in the U.$. and how the intelligence community utilizes informants and undercover agents to harass, spy on, falsely accuse, set up, imprison & assassinate leftist revolutionaries or any musician, actor or politician as well as business person associated with revolutionary organizations or movements, that promote peace & unity rather than violence.

After reading & examining closely, for the second time after seven years, I feel an obligation to quote and cite John Potash’s work as well as all the revolutionaries he worked with before and after this book’s publication.

In Chapter 21 (pp. 101-104) Potash describes what is called ‘Penal Coercion’, which is a way to break down certain prisoners psychologically, physically & spiritually.

“They found that the U.S. Department of Corrections had a ‘Special Services Division’ to carry out operations on prisoners. Researchers working from divergent groups, such as the Bureau of Prisons and Amnesty International, described several particular prison tactics as akin to both torture and brainwashing and referred to them as ‘penal coercion’.”

“A 1983 Amnesty International report on torture presented CIA-designed techniques outlined in Biderman’s Chart of Coercion – 8 general penal coercion methods prison officials used to psychologically tear down individuals in order to manipulate them. These methods are isolation, monopolization of perception, induced debility, threats, occasional indulgences, demonstrating omnipotence, degradation, and enforcing trivial demands.”

One of the most tragic & ironic cases of this is that of Afeni Shakur’s son – Tupac Amaru Shakur. Tupac was targeted the same way his mother was – five assassination attempts, constant harassment from so-called law enforcement and incarceration under false charges. He was practically sentenced to ‘Death Row’ for his revolutionary work, forcing him, after FBI ‘penal coercion’ into a corner after which he finally gave in and went against his better judgement and signed with Suge Knight on Death Row Records, a label whose symbol & trademark was a man sitting in an electric chair. This label promoted drugs, sex, violence and ignorance and no higher social causes whatsoever – going against all Tupac & his family of activists stood for. Potash writes, “Tupac’s jail conditions also helped influence Tupac to finally sign with Death Row Records.”

Potash continues:

“Tupac finally stopped rejecting Time Warner’s request to sign with its subsidiary, Death Row. Tupac had spent 10 months in jail. The appeals court refused Tupac’s 1.3 million bail offer for those many months that he waited for his appeal trial, but within days of Tupac’s September 1995 signing with Death Row Records, the Court of Appeals accepted virtually that same bail offer and released Tupac.”

“…Years of accumulated evidence supports that the FBI orchestrated the murder of rap icon Tupac Shakur, and that they used similar tactics to murder other leftist black leaders. Thousands of pages of U.S. intelligence documents reveal how the FBI and other intelligence agencies have waged a war on black leaders. The U.S. Intelligence targeting of Tupac and his Shakur family provides a window into intelligence targeting of leftist black leaders from 1965-2005. U.S. Intelligence (Defense, CIA, FBI and police intelligence) historically opposed leftists – those working to make changes in society to gain more equitable sharing of wealth and resources. The CIA’s leadership, the directors of intelligence agencies until 2001, were comprised of the wealthiest American families. Their founders also saved thousands of Nazis [after the end of WW2] and put them to work on intelligence projects.”

Summing Up

So be watchful of all correctional officers, deputies, staff and prisoners because the capitalists of the ‘criminal culture’ that is fueled by drugs, sex and violence has captivated the minds of the 85% (majority of oppressed masses). And they have no real loyalty to any higher social causes and they will sacrifice anyone, and anybody, to keep whatever they gained from capitalist society and for whatever material or position they are trying to acquire. No matter how low they are on the pyramid, as Paulo Freire writes, “the oppressed class subconsciously emulates, imitates and identifies with their oppressors.”

All conscious, political & revolutionary prisoners, within and without, in prison & at home; the intelligence community has perfected the art of utilizing the informant and the undercover agent for decades and has been proven to be their most valuable asset, used to assassinate (as in the case of the late Nipsey Hustle PBUH) and bring down countless revolutionaries. Be wary of all people (inmates and staff) who become super defensive and ultra-sensitive when you are critical about the current social order and the establishment. Most likely they are either active agents, informants or have friends & family members who work for Law Enforcement, the CIA, FBI, or U.$. Military – three institutions that are interlocked in the same criminal network.

All of our great leaders and revolutionaries; Black, white, Latino, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern or Native American, have all pointed to the same facts and for this, like Tupac Amaru Shakur, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Clarence 13X, Marcus Garvey, George Jackson and Geronimo Pratt, they were harassed, imprisoned unjustly, or assassinated for it. Peace be upon them, for they are the true prophets and messengers of this age, and it is only men & women like them who will lead us into the new age of Revolutionary Transcendence.

Peace (Positive Education Always Caused Enlightenment)

chain
[MIM(Prisons)] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Self-Criticism on Harper Collins Punching the Air Promotion

punching the air
We apologize for promoting this book without ensuring reciprocal support for independent institutions of the oppressed.

In Under Lock & Key No. 71 we printed an ad for a free copy of the book Punching the Air. We did so based on an agreement we had with a Director at Harper Collins that we would provide access to our readership to recruit readers for the book, and they would cover the costs for them to receive the book while promoting our Free Political Books to Prisoners Program on their Instagram.

Ebony LaDelle, Director of Teen Marketing for Harper Collins Children’s Books originally reached out to us about the promotion to get free copies of the book to people in prison, especially youth. We agreed to the arrangement above, and went ahead and created and printed an ad in ULK to find out who would want the book. We sent the final version of ULK with the ad we printed at our cost, and asked Ms. LaDelle about the ad they were going to post for us on Instagram. It was at this point that she informed us that there was no ad because we had missed a deadline a month ago. This was despite the fact that we had sent her the art and url for the ad almost 2 months prior. And this was the first time we had heard of a deadline or that we had missed it.

One reason we were open to this project is that the book was authored by Yusef Salaam, who was part of the Central Park 5 as a youth, and who had a story we thought would be relevant to our audience. So when Ms. LaDelle made it clear they would not be promoting our Serve the People program we reached out to Mr. Salaam, but received no response. At this point we cut off relations with Harper Collins and this project.

We say this was an opportunist error, because we accepted the arrangement with Harper Collins hoping it would benefit us without being vigilant about our politics being represented. We can also say that our state of feeling a bit desperate for support played a role in our willingness to jump on the promotion. Ultimately our politics were completely left out of the promotion, and we stopped working with Harper Collins in response. But we had already run the ad.

We are self-critical for this because we ended up using our comrades’ time and our money to print an ad, for free, for a large corporation, while getting nothing in return to benefit the independent institutions of the oppressed.

Certainly this is a small aberration on our history of managing 6-digits worth of funds over the years, which has gone directly to serving the people through independent institutions of the oppressed. Nonetheless, we should draw lessons from this error to maintain our track record.

While donations of stamps from behind bars, and the occasional donation from the outside is not nearly enough to keep our projects running, this is where we should be looking to develop more support.

And it is not just financial support that we need. More than that, we need people to do the work. We also depend on the masses and comrades out there for ideological support. It is your ideological questions and feedback that allow us to keep applying the democratic development of theory and practice as we go through this precarious time. Certainly there will be many more learning experiences like this to come as we go, and we can’t do it without all of you providing criticism, support and feedback.

Harper Collins did publish a small post listing some of the other groups that they worked with on this promotion. What we do differently is build independent institutions of the oppressed to serve the people. We do not run charities. We are trying to change the world. And our programs serve to help others join us in that project. That is why we are explicit that it is a Free Political Books to Prisoners Program. And we wonder if that is why Harper Collins was not willing to promote it.

It is our grounding in the masses that led Harper Collins to reach out to us in the first place. And to make up for our mistake in trusting that they would promote mass work, we will be sending everyone who requested the book an introductory book on the philosophy of dialectical materialism. And like everything else we do, this will be done mostly with money out of our own pockets. If you are reading this and want to see more revolutionary literature making it into the hands of prisoners of the United $tates, please do get in touch, or just send us a donation (see our Get Involved page for how).

chain
[Campaigns] [Hunger Strike] [COVID-19] [California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Hunger Strike at CSATF Over COVID-19 Outbreak and Social Isolation

As of today [20 November 2020] this is day 22 of this hunger strike that [2 members of the local USW cell and one other comrade] have been on at CSATF D-Facility. Reason that we’re on this hunger strike is for CDCR, the state of California and the Governor of California Gavin Newsom’s failure to protect us prisoners from any harm.

Our strike has been reported on by ABC30 through a group called “Oakland Abolition and Solidarity.” Our 3 demands are as follows:

  1. Universal, voluntarily applied testing and treatment for COVID;

  2. Return of safe program and basic necessities, namely: Law library, telephones, showers, dorm cleaning supplies, hot meals and canteen;

  3. Create mechanisms of accountability by which independent family and supporters on the outside have visibility on CDCR’s plans and actions during and after an outbreak like this.

This facility is locked down and all means of congregation have been canceled completely. The program has been such since early April 2020, but has become more dire since July. Meanwhile, like other facilities in California and across the country, staff regularly interact with prisoners with no mask on and are the source of the virus for those of us locked in these cages.

The overall population has been in a state of panic, fear and complacency. But leaders have been on hunger strike since 29 October 2020; abstaining from all hard/solid foods. This includes meals offered by the Department of Corruption and the institutional canteen.

The brothers here are still putting in work and continuing their studies.

chain
[Organizing] [COVID-19] [Prison Labor] [Mental Health] [Maryland] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

COVID-19 Used to Enhance Social Control in Maryland

Sisters and Brothers, i raise my clenched fist and salute all of you striving to stay strong through these adverse times. i am a New Afrikan man currently incarcerated at Maryland’s E.C.I. koncentration kamp. Due to COVID-19, there have been a lot of changes here.

Lockdown

We are supposed to be locked in 23 hours a day and out one hour, but the actual scheduling is 35 hours in, and one out, meaning we go out once every other day.

The scheduling causes brothers to come out at nine in the morning to shower, call loved ones etc, then sit in the cell until nine the next night. Some brothers have nothing – no T.V. or radio. All they have is the mental voice and that isn’t always kind to brothers behind the wall with no information about the future. We are given yard time two times a week, if suitable for our korrectional oppressors. Our yard time length is fifteen to twenty minutes, and we can’t use weights or any other yard equipment. They claim they are giving us 30 minutes, but brothers with timers on their watches have disproven this. When we show the korrectional oppressors our timers, we are told ‘it is what it is’ while they make a show of having their hand on the Mace canister.

We get visitation once a week, where we can Skype approved loved ones. We are brought a sheet weekly where we sign up for a time slot during which we wish the conversation to take place. They try one email choice two times, if no one responds you are sent back to your designated building. This causes issues – not for the korrectional oppressors, but for us. Most brothers strategically choose their times when loved ones won’t be working, and children won’t be online doing schooling, etc., but at times they call you for your call two hours ahead of your scheduled time and no one is there to pick up. Brothers have raised grievances about this and given political responses. Even if you do get through on Skype, the connection is poor, and noise in the visitation room can cause mics to cancel each other out – sometimes when your loved ones speak Skype mutes them, thinking that the noise in the room is you speaking.

Our food is now brought to our cells. For breakfast we get one cereal and two slices of bread. For lunch and dinner we are brought takeout containers that have sat in the foyer until they are cold. Often everything is mixed together and not fully cooked.

Most brothers now sit idle with no school or self-help programs/groups. As i watch my brothers, it grips my heart to see how this pandemic and the uncertainty of the future is causing brothers to slide back from the growth they were making. i have been doing my part by creating community building topics and self-reflective exercises, though i can only reach so many.

Inside Maryland Correctional Enterprises

One big change at this kamp has been at M.C.E. (Maryland Correctional Enterprises) Plant #106, where I work doing furniture restoration and refurbishment for the MTA, schools, colleges, prisons and other state institutions. During the pandemic, in addition to our other tasks, we make face shields and masks which go firstly to for ‘essential’ workers – $tate workers, korrectional oppressors, and secondly to our sisters and brothers behind the wall. Brothers were acknowledged by the $tate’s Governor ‘Lyin’ Larry Hogan in multiple newspapers for our hard work with a picture of him wearing a mask made by us. Within two weeks after the article praising us, brothers were given a memo stating that there would be layoffs from the plant, and that those who weren’t laid off would not receive base pay when they are not scheduled to work. The managers at plant #106 laid off 25 workers that week. As of the 6th of November, they laid off 29 more brothers, leaving them high and dry after working hard for relief on their sentence and pay.

Plant #106 is the lowest paid plant in the $tate. Our base pay is 35 cents an hour. Other plants around the $tate’s kamps clear $100 checks on the regular (i should say, i am truly happy for my brothers and sisters behind the wall making money to support their family and themselves). Our low pay is due to the Plant #106 manager Dan McGarity and regional plant manager/supervisor Matt Hall setting the pay we receive per job, which has gotten lower and lower. For example, we used to receive four dollars per bus seat. Now, we receive one dollar for the same work, even though the job estimate given and accepted by the MTA is the same. So why are brothers now receiving three dollars less in our incentive pay (incentive pay is a flat daily pay added to out base pay if we worked, if you don’t work you used to just receive base pay)? Brothers who work nearest to Dan McGarity as office clerks say that when McGarity is speaking with his peers, he has stated that he doesn’t want to be audited or have anyone look too deeply at the books. i find it no coincidence that brother’s base pay was taken away due to ‘lack of work,’ which was not true. On the east side kompound, here at E.C.I., their plant is still receiving base pay. When brothers inquired as to why east side plant was receiving base pay and we were not, we were given the runaround. Brothers were told our regional manager/supervisor is different (which makes no sense, we are one kompound split by a wire). Brothers were told we were not considered essential, after Governor ‘Lyin’ Larry Hogan told multiple newspapers that we were.

Korruption and Resistance

E.C.I. is known amongst the brothers for its korruption. In 2015, former warden Kathleen Green was let go from her job for pocketing grant money meant for programs in the prison. We are frequently punished for the negligence of those paid to do their jobs. This has caused a divide among the population. This koncentration kamp gets more restrictive and oppressive every couple of months, with constant rank changes and rule changes. We’ve had to coordinate multiple peaceful protests, just to receive our basic rights.

For example, in 2018 the brothers had decided we had enough of being locked down weekly for random, unjust reasons, losing yard access because the guards didn’t feel like allowing it, food being uncooked, verbal and physical abuse, and other issues. We had planned a mass sit-in at east and west side kompound, brothers were not to go to school, work groups, or to chow. Kapitalist industries hate when money is wasted and not made. Unfortunately, due to korrectional pets/sympathizers, our plan was sent into a state of confusion. The korrectional oppressors used one of their pets to spread word that the day of the protest had changed (which was false information). At this time i was housed on a different tier in the same building. The confusion tactic, sadly, worked. Brothers on the east side kompound had a major sit-in, refusing to go back in their cells. Some of the brothers who worked for M.C.E. Plant #106 at that time didn’t go to work. The protest caught the korrectional oppressors attention, though due to the coordination being disrupted, the effect was not powerful enough.

The east and west side kompound was put on complete lockdown for four months that summer. Brothers were given sweaty lunch meat brown bags for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No showers, visits, phone, just straight twenty-four hour lockdown until we entered step down phase. The local media had caught wind of the lockdown, through an unknown brother that had his people inform them on the injustices taking place in the prison (this was before the protest was to take place). The first newscast on the kamp’s lockdown spoke on the injustices that brothers were exposed to, and how it was a peaceful protest. The next newscast later that evening flipped and spoke on the “plight” of korrectional oppressors, showed images of oppressor’s family members out front the kamp holding signs. The signs claimed korrectional oppressors were overworked, etc. In most simple terms, we were forgot about and villainized for the rest of the news coverage, which went on for months. That 2018 situation seemed to be what broke some brother’s mindset, causing them to become submissive and just look out for self. Even though some brothers became more cooperative with injustice, it only gave fuel to the korrectional oppressors to become more oppressive and the line of division among brothers continued to widen. For the brothers who refused to go to work at Plant #106 on the day of ‘protest’ were fired. Plant #106 oppressors used this to their advantage to help the koncentration kamp by offering jobs back in exchange for information. Brothers at this kamp have an extreme lack of unity.

The ACLU came out here about two years ago and told the prison to double our food ration. The prison followed orders for a week, then went right back to the portion they been serving. When brothers were asked to raise their voice, most were afraid of having their cell tore up and going to lockup for whatever reason korrectional oppressors chose. During audit time here at the kamp, the korrectional officers turn into masters of deception. They do a mass clean, plant flowers (that come up right after the auditors leave) – in simple terms, the put on their ‘Sunday best.’ They only send oppressor’s pet to talk to auditors. Once auditors leave, it is oppression as usual. Any advice?

Some of these brothers that work at Plant #106 slave to get jobs done, only to be taken off the schedule while the oppressor’s pets are left on the schedule to collect incentive pay they just watched others generate. The brothers who deserve that money, need that money to get by in prison. The injustice at this kamp is real.

Update: as of November 3rd our kompound was put on lockdown due to a spreading of COVID-19. We are out our cell individually for fiteen minutes a day. This outbreak was due to the kapitalist mentality. While COVID-19 cases were down amongst Maryland’s koncentration kamps, brothers who were supposed to go to the minimum kamp were finally shipped out, taking the population way down. This, in turn, meant that this kamp would not receive as much money, so this kamp made moves to get a busload of brothers from another kamp. These brothers were not tested or given quarantine time. They were just placed in cells. Then began the COVID-19 outbreak. On my tier they let out one of their pets to do laundry and pass out meals, only to find out the brother has been infected by the virus and told no one! Brother had to put him on blast to get him to admit he had symptoms. This is crazy – our safety depends on those in charge. Sisters and brothers lives are in the korrectional oppressors hand’s and they could care less about us. Their concern is ca$h. My sisters and brothers outside and behind the wall, i urge you to do your part in the fight against the machine. We all have a part to play in Vita Wa Watu. If we don’t care for each other, then who will care for us? Keep up the good fight comrades – and much love to those who work hard at M.I.M. to educate our brothers and sisters in the struggle. Any advice or resources welcome.

chain
[Idealism/Religion]
expand

No Way As The Way

[Hook]
My way might not be your way
But it’s okay
It’s alright, your way might not be my way
But it’s okay
It’s alright


[Stic.man]
Yea, I used to go to church
But the church didn’t quench my thirst
Mama taught me to put god first
But she never tried to block my search
I was curious, young but serious
Why's religion so mysterious
Why is black life so hard?
They say you’re not supposed to question God
Well is it okay to question the pastor?
Was it passed down from the slave-master?
It was only the truth I was after
But I never could get a straight answer
So I couldn’t relate to the sermon
Put down the bible, then I start learning
About life, didn’t know where the path would lead
But I had to get off my knees


[Hook]


[Stic.man]
I build with the Five Percenters
On the God within us, it’s no limits
Study the Metu Neter from Kemet
All saw, I remembered
Smoke herb with the Rastafarians
Grew my locks became a vegetarian
Following the Tao, building with the Baba Laos
Jewels being handed to a innocent child
My mind is a Buddhist temple, the truth is simple
I try to be principled
Walking with a warrior spirit
Ain’t nothing like learning from first hand life experience
I’m a realist, that’s all I deal with
Respect the truth, that’s all I build with
A child of the universe
My religion is life and it’s just as valid
I strive for balance


[Hook]


[M-1]
I gotta admit, I don’t know
In the end which way it’s gonna go
Why we sit by the project window,
Instead of living off the land with my kin folk?
Is there even a master plan?
An unseen hand? Is God a man?
Some say that’s sacrilegious
Same folks selling us lies about Christmas
Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny
Just so the capitalists can make money
They say God will take care of it
But you a terrorist if you say the same thing in Arabic
It’s so hypocritical
It’s a miracle, listen to the message in the spirituals
Wade in the water, I’m following Ms. Tubman and Nat Turner
I'm praying for my freedom
and heading for the border


[Hook: x3]
This article referenced in:
chain
[COVID-19] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

From the Inside Looking Out -- COVID Forced on Prisoners

doctors are no help

It’s beautiful that now there’s a better connection with us who are in this new sentence to a slow death due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions of free society. The majority of these in-prison cases are caused by nurses and pigs and other free-world staff who choose not to wear masks, either in here or out there. It’s not our fault we catch COVID-19 when we can’t go no further than the yard gates unless we’re being escorted to the prison medical facilities, an outside hospital, or to other yards or prisons. We’re not the ones who are the cause of the spread of the disease inside these prisons, but we’ll get a Rule Violation Report (RVR), which extends our sentence, for not wearing a mask from a pig who isn’t wearing one themselves.

Also now there’s no programs for us prisoners to even gain any good time kronos like attending CGA, AA, Anger Management, GED classes, or college classes. The chapel isn’t running either but the chaplains still show up to collect their check. Prisoners don’t have a way or avenue to stay out of trouble, unless they are really doing nothing. Myself and other prisoners have been harassed by the pigs for group exercising together even while using social distance procedures. CDCR ain’t working on helping us prisoners rehabilitate, we’re doing it our damn selves.

Medical facilities on the yards won’t even do a check up on individuals like myself, but they will call you up to draw your blood for testing, for COVID or not. On some straight vampire shit but us, who are the vampire slayers, the N.G.E. School of Carthage, slay the vampires by the United Front for Peace in Prisons Statement of Principles, which are:

  1. Peace WE organize to end the needless conflicts and violence within the U.$. prison environment. The oppressors use divide and conquer strategies so that we fight each other instead of them. We will stand together and defend ourselves from oppression.

  2. Unity WE strive to unite with those facing the same struggles as us for our common interests. To maintain unity we have to keep an open line of networking and communication, and ensure we address any situation with true facts. This is needed because of how the pigs utilize tactics such as rumors, snitches and fake communications to divide and keep division among the oppressed. The pigs see the end of their control within our unity.

  3. Growth WE recognize the importance of education and freedom to grow in order to build real unity. We support members within our organization who leave and embrace other political organizations and concepts that are within the anti-imperialist struggle. Everyone should get in where they fit in. Similarly, we recognize the right of comrades to leave our organization if we fail to live up to the principles and purpose of the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

  4. Internationalism WE struggle for the liberation of all oppressed people. While we are often referred to as “minorities” in this country, and we often find those who are in the same boat as us opposing us, our confidence in achieving our mission comes from our unity with all oppressed nations who represent the vast majority globally. We cannot liberate ourselves when participating in the oppression of other nations.

  5. Independence WE build our own institutions and programs independent of the United $tates government and all its branches, right down to the local police, because this system does not serve us. By developing independent power through these institutions we do not need to compromise our goals.

As we build and live by these Principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons, we destroy the monster that imperialist/capitalist governments have created with this U.$. prison system.

MOE POWER TO THE KENFOLK NATION!!

chain
[COVID-19] [Civil Liberties] [Daniel Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

COVID-19 Sheds Some Light on Prisoners' Lack of Recourse

I’m writing to ask if there is a way to receive the grievance petition for Texas. As for here all grievances are answered the same. The lawsuit that was in federal court due to COVID-19 was thrown out for not exhausting administrative remedies. Also here at this unit we are not allowed to wear N95 masks. We do not have any rights here.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade is commenting on the fact that grievances are constantly denied in Texas, like so many prison systems in this country. Yet, without the proper paper trail of going through all levels of the grievance process, your lawsuits are deemed invalid thanks to the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act(PLRA) of Bill Clinton. Before the PLRA there was actually a semblance of checks and balances applied to conditions in U.$. prisons. Since then that has not been the case, and abuse and humyn rights violations occur daily, unchecked. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped bring that to the attention of the general public.

This is why USW comrades have written grievance petitions in over a dozen states to appeal to various state overseers to restore a semblance of justice to these prison systems. While the victories have been isolated, it has led to concrete organizing around concrete conditions faced by prisoners as a class. These injustices demonstrate the bad faith of the current system that offers no real solutions for the oppressed.

chain
[Hunger Strike] [Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Albion] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Hunger Strike in Albion RHU over Basic Humyn Needs

For every male prisoner locked up in the state of Pennsylvania, I pose some questions:

  1. Do a prison have the right to deprive you of food?
  2. Do a prison have the right to deprive you of a shower?
  3. Do a prison have the right to deprive you yard?
  4. To determine when you can see your children and how long you can hold your children?
  5. Every prison in the state of Pennsylvania allow gay prisoners inside of each prison to hold hands/hold each other, have make-out sessions and have intercourse. The Department of Corrections in the state of Pennsylvania even sell bras/panties, makeup, provide hormone injections and sex changes.
  1. Why can’t we hug/hold/kiss our girlfriends and wives for more than three minutes on a visit?
  2. Why don’t we fight for conjugal visits?
  1. Do the prisons have the right to talk however they want?

Brothers, they don’t respect us nor treat us like human beings because under the 13th Amendment, we are slaves. Under Dred Scot v. Sanford, no black man has “rights that a white man is bound to respect” and blacks shall never have rights under the Constitution. Under Plessy v. Ferguson, we are cattle.

That is why correctional officers in the state of Pennsylvania do all these things to us and why police officers in society can kill us with little to no consequences.

Brothers, the female prisons in the state of Pennsylvania still have everything and much more, that we allowed the D.O.C. to take from us, men. Two female prisons fought to be treated like human beings and won through pain and sacrifice.

This goes beyond our personal dislikes, gang colors, religious perspectives and individual wants. Ask yourself, if two female prisons can accomplish it, why can’t 3 or more male prisons do the same?

We at SCI-Albion believe we have the power to accomplish it, so on 1 November 2020 we are hunger striking. We are not helping the D.O.C. get rich off of this oppression so we are not spending money on commissary/cable/bake sales. WE will be doing more but can’t go into that here.

We are a group comprised of Muslims from America and the Middle East, Christians, a Pastor, G.D., Loc’s, Damus, Kings, Netas, neutrals old and young. Blacks, Latinos and whites.

chain
[United Front] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Unity Is: I Care About You

On page 3 of Under Lock & Key No. 70 the key ideals listed under United Front for Peace in Prisons are truly at the heart of any plan for positive change.

I will just hit on the one that seems to echo No. 70: Unity. People must realize We are inherently the same; when I am hungry I want to eat; moms in every country around the world love their babies; people want to live productive, peaceful, happy lives the world over.

Through the five pillars of the United Front, these kinds of universal needs and wants of people should be stressed with the added ingredient: I care about you.

Unity is: I care about you, you care about me; We work together for Our mutual well-being, happiness and development. We are not the same, yet have fundamentally the same fears, hopes, needs, wants and dreams and the reality is that We can only achieve them when We live and work together in Unity. Unity is not being in relationship; it is more being in fellowship; not just co-workers but comrades.

One thing we hear the staff or guards say all the time is “I don’t care.” All of their actions, policies and procedures prove it is absolutely true; they do not see us as people any more. This is an extension of the imperialist view of the rest of the world’s population. “They don’t care” whether this or those people live or die, have a decent standard of living, live free of famine or war, or free from social instability, mass discrimination, incarceration or class stratification.

They don’t care – the target is not a person with thoughts, feelings, needs or dreams. It is an insanity that plagues mankind: people treating others as things, objects, property, chattel or goods; to be used, abused or destroyed at will.

As the article Individualism Equals Hunger pointed out greedy people just do not care about others to the point of allowing millions of people worldwide to either starve or at the least live malnourished. Especially here in America, individualism is a key component of “I don’t care.” Even in prisons, huge amounts of food are thrown away daily, it is really crazy when one sits back and thinks about it all.

chain
[COVID-19] [Nevada] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Profits are the Exception to Safety During COVID-19

Dear Comrades, Greetings and Salutations.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has given the Nevada Department of Corruption (NDOC) untold power to trample the rights of the people in the name of “safety and security”.

I am calling upon you to use your platform and voice to cry foul to all that will listen. Since 19 March 2020, the PSU 9-12 quadrant of the prison has had its yard time and tier time cut down to one hour of tier a day and almost no yard. NRS 209.365(5), (B), (5) calls for a minimum of five hours per week of outdoor exercise. Administrative regulation (hereafter “AR”) 801.05(2) calls for a minimum of five hours per day of out of cell time. Neither are being followed. I am filing to exhaust my remedies, so I can file suit along with a few others. NDOC claims COVID-19 as the cause for the lock downs, yet Prison Industries are able to attend work up to four days a week (because the States money is more important than “safety and security” concerns!).

Laundry, kitchen, canteen, yard workers, etc. are able to be out of their cells (as long as it benefits the Pigs!) but everyone else stays locked in their cells for up to 23 hours per day.

I’ve been tested twice for COVID-19 and never received any results (my health is well). Medical Programs, Education, and all other Rehabilitation efforts (or any efforts that benefit the Prisoner) have been cut out totally or slowed to the point that they are useless. Mail is slowed. Just look how long it took me to receive your letter from 7/12/20 (I got it on 9/4/20).

My anger is building and my will solidified. I am here in this fight up to my ears, and I am doing everything I can with the limited resources I have.

I am grateful for the help you have extended to further this fight. What every prisoner here needs is more outside voices to contact officials and let them know that they are violating Nevada Law, and the rights of EVERY Prisoner affected by the B.S. lock downs and so called “safety of the institution”.

Let any supporters know that they can contact NDOC warden Calvin Johnson, AWP Monique Hubbard-Pickett, AWP, G. Picinini, AWP Jeremy Bean, and Director of Prisons Daniels at 22010 Cold Creek Rd, Indian Springs NV 89070 and PO Box 7011, Carson City, NV 89701

Or by emailing… Offender Management Division [email protected], [email protected] or by calling Victoria Gonzalez #(775)684-0222

Flood them with complaints! Demand action to be taken! and let them know what they do undercover will be exposed.

Struggle on Comrades! Power to the People, all else is theft!


MIM(Prisons) responds: The Federal Bureau of Prisons also kept their industries (UNICOR) open during the pandemic, spreading COVID-19. What this comrade reports on in a Nevada prison parallels all of the United $tates, where “essential workers” quickly became anyone who helps circulate capital and make a profit. In the context of prisons, certainly someone must keep doing cleaning and food prep during the pandemic. But what essential tasks are the prison industries completing? While mental health, exercise and education are all considered non-essential for those locked away in the imperialist dungeons.

The pandemic has been an eye-opening example of what putting profits over peoples’ needs looks like. What capitalism offers versus what communism offers. We must admit, capitalism has been a mixed bag, with some countries handling the pandemic quite well. But overall millions will die unnecessarily because profit concerns were put over humyn health.

chain
[COVID-19] [Civil Liberties] [Prisoner Lives Matter] [Telfair State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Prisoner Lives Must Be Defended During Pandemic

Peace be unto you… Thank you for providing me, the much needed information on AIPS-GA/Outside Reports.

Those warehoused and enslaved within this illicit system, particularly at Telfair State Prison (i.e. Koncentration Kamp), are subjected to unprecedented hazards. The entire staff is not being screened for COVID-19, upon reporting to work daily. The staff continues to interact with those of us held captive, without wearing any PPE (i.e. Masks or gloves), even while serving the units at meal times.

Units of korruption officers from various kamps, forming what they call a tactical squad, come to this facility to shake us down frequently. Countless outside visitors employed with the state are permitted to enter the facility without being screened as if they are immune to catching or spreading the coronavirus. Mind you, that the state cancelled all family visits in March, so no one has been able to see a family member since that time.

What is the difference between them going home and any place of their desire and then returning here possibly exposing us to COVID-19, or allowing our families which live in the same society as they do to come visit us?

The chemicals (or lack thereof) that are given are watered down so much that their ability to effectively clean and sanitize is questionable. The drinking water is tan or brownish due to the piping being rusted out. The food being slopped together will not satisfy a three year old. Nor does it meet the required calorie standards recommended for adults.

Amid the federal declaration of national emergency; issued on or around the thirteenth day of March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, little to virtually no cohesive measures have been implemented within the Georgia Department of Korruption (i.e. GDC), to protect the lives of the country’s most vulnerable population; Its prisoners!

In fact, prisoners are forced to exist in congregate settings. Where physical social distancing is all but impossible. Adversely, inherently enhancing our enslavement sentences; to that of a sentence of death. Because we are not at all able to effectively protect ourselves from this pandemic. That has now taken well over four hundred thousand lives in the U.$. [as of January 2021].

For, it is essential that the humanity of those being held captive be reevaluated at once. Because: Prisoners’ Lives Matter, as well!

The nature of COVID-19 requires an unprecendented and empathic response. The states have taken up many measures to curb the pandemic, in free society. With little success at slowing the spread of this virus; as evidenced by the 23 million who have now tested positive, just within the U.$. [as of January 2021].

The Georgia Department of Korruption; governor of Georgia: Brian Kemp; the Department of Injustice (i.e. DOJ), nor have the United $tates Attorney General: Wiliam Barr, thought it to be necessary to act upon implementing actions to release those held within their state and federal kamps that have not been sentenced to death.

For, it is no secret, that the state kamps are understaffed and overcrowded with vulnerable citizenry. These koncentration kamps are unsanitary and unfit for humans to exist in. They are insufficient in providing adequate nutritional supplement for those of us that are being held captive. The level of medical care provided is egregiously inadequate.

Reducing every facility to susceptible petri dishes for infectious disease outbreaks.

In fact! Eight of the ten clusters of the coronavirus are located within state Korrectional facilities, according to the: New York Times (in July 2020). For though many state have increased COVID-19 testing, the country’s prison system maliciously refuses to test those being held captive, within its vile entity.

For it is the duty of those in office, to use every tool available to prohibit this pandemic from claiming anymore lives. The conventional philosophic way that has become our approach to civility is morally despicable. We cannot pick and choose, who amongst us are deserving of being saved. For that is the creator’s job!

We must prioritize the safety and well-being of as many people as humanly possible.

The United States are quick to censure a variety of countries, due to the way those countries treat their citizenry. While all along treating their own citizenry much worst.

The demographics of the cruelty that already existed within the illicit prison system of the United States, did not need the addition of COVID-19, included to the many different forms of weaponized impunity that already exist within a system designed to tear a person down.

The United $tates’ prison system was designed to be a governmental body to enslave New Afrikan people to rebuild the southern states, which relied on slave labor to bolster the economy. This is officially documented in the Thirteenth Amendment.

Prisons were not designed to be a death chamber for those accused of breaking the so-called law. The perception of government in the nineteenth century was to make the public think that the nations’ prisons were places of rehabilitation. There is no rehabilitation going on behind these enemy lines. Just death! All that exist is Kruel treatment by Korrupt bigots and their house nigga’s, which thrive on dehumanizing human-beings to augment their own self-worth.

It is now time to unlock these chains and cages, before they are responsible for the deaths of thousands.

Prisoners’ Lives Matter!

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Florida] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Community

They say, we are burning down our own community,
they must be looking at the wrong TV,
According to Webster, a community is:
1) A body of people living in the same place
under the same laws.
2) society at large
3) joint ownership
4) The people with common interest
living in a particular area.
Based on this definition, we have no community.
We own no major corporations, no assets, no property.
We get no equal service and protection of law
in any of these territories,
like the Palestinians being occupied by the I$raelis.
All we are experiencing here is amerikkklan apartheid,
Portrayed as aliens, second-class citizens, animals on channel live.
This would not be happening in our community.
Our schools and education, would not be getting determined
by capitalist imperialist white supremacist owners of our ancestry,
In our community, the police would be police,
not PIGs (Pro Imperialist Goons) who hate us with dignity,
lynching us like dogs in the streets, with guaranteed impunity,
no accountability,
In our community, 94% of our annual spending
would be on own products and services.
Rent and interest rates would not be discriminatory.
We would be land lords, we would have our own banks,
investing our savings in our own community interest,
with appreciation and thanks.
We would own our own means of production.
Selling our labor to each other,
and receiving fair wages, top dollars,
the only community we’ve ever had,
was burned to the ground in 1921.
Tulsa Oklahoma, Black Wallstreet.
Where the owners of corporations and property
looked like us, thought like us, acted like us
everything there was for us, by us.
The court rooms in our community would be egalitarian and just.
We wouldn’t be getting lynched in the streets,
or being incarcerated, rail-roaded for profit.
This is not our community,
Burn it down… Burn it down…
To the ground,
This is not our community.
chain
[COVID-19] [Greene Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

NC Prisons COVID Practices a Ruse Among Overcrowding

Revolutionary greetings!

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) Division of Adult Correction is hard at work exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to further oppress disadvantaged people. Its first big moves were elimination of visitation and Christian religious services. Then, concerned about overcrowding (which DPS has previously denied) and lack of social distancing, a judge requested DPS to tell the court how its acting to keep prisoners in different pods, dorms and units apart. Then things really got crazy.

After weeks of foolish experiments in the overcrowded dining hall, Greene Correctional Institution stopped letting us eat there at all. All meals are now served on styrofoam takeout trays. The pigs have less “work” to do. The partial lockdown didn’t stop there, though.

The yards are now closed about 19 hours/day. Yard time is the only opportunity we have for distanced socializing. Now its limited to less than 1.5 hours/day for each dorm, two or three dorms at a time. The rest of the day we’re locked up in concrete tombs, suffering from vitamin D deficiencies. Lack of fresh air and vitamin D is compromising our immune systems, increasing our risk of dying of COVID-19.

Disingenuous DPS paperwork has placated courts, which have never been known for integrity or common sense. Any reported isolation is a crude ruse effective only when someone chooses to believe it and ignore the evidence. Despite published rules, prisoners float from dorm to dorm, tattooing each other, buying, selling and taking drugs, bartering and trading medical supplies and contraband, gambling, and extorting weaker, elderly, infirm and handicapped prisoners. Guards pretend not to notice the crowds in the dayrooms, bathrooms and showers.

DPS has now “resumed” (it never really stopped) shipping victims between prisons. New arrivals come straight to regular population. They are not quarantined.

Guards and another non-resident personnel come and go. They are not tested. By now, its a near certainty that some of them carry SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

We who are about to die salute you.

chain
[Education] [ULK Issue 72]
expand

Response re: Conversation Techniques in ULK 70

This is a response to USW9 and UMT coordinator (ULK 70, Spring 2020).

USW9 is to be commended for starting a conversation with another prisoner. I’m not sure the timing of the murder of General Soleimani [the Iranian major general assassinated by Amerika while visiting Iraq in January 2020] was determined by the upcoming election, but it is a well-known fact that Trump did it for eir own economic and political reasons. This murder and the fascist media cover-up certainly merit discussion. Unfortunately, USW9 folded, and bewailed eir failure to “even preach to the crowd.”

USW9’s analysis is wrong. It is clear that USW9 was not talking to a choirboy (a revolutionary communist), but to a kapitalist imperialist. The first step in a successful debate or political discourse is accurate assessment of the audience.

I enjoyed UMT coordinators’ discussion and agreed with much of it. We need to come to a conversation “from a place of unity,” not division. I think, though, that eir understanding of debate and discussion was unclear.

Pointless discussion may break the ice at a party, but extended rhetoric about non-controversial trivia quickly becomes boring and is always unproductive. Successful political discourse always involves heated debate.

To begin, USW9 stated a sound theory in terms of eir own ethical values and morals, without first becoming acquainted with the potential recruit’s. USW9 was then discouraged when the recruit was offended not by Trump’s violence, but by USW9’s criticism. We must recognize that the recruit’s response was predictable and quite reasonable given eir unfortunate capitalist imperialist background. One must not assume that every inmate is an “oppressed prisoner” receptive to our ideas couched in our own terms.

USW9 then “just changed the subject to the San Francisco 49ers.” That didn’t work. Instead of making a mental note that next time he might mention another team or even a different sport, USW9 apparently just walked away.

I’m sorry USW9 feels like “no one is talking about unity or anything of that nature.” Most prisoners (not all) are in prison because they’re motivated by their own lusts and greed. That doesn’t change when people are arrested or put into a unit “that’s known for rampant drug trade and use.” UMT coordinator properly explained that talking about unity from a position of unity is our job.

I appreciate that it’s hard at times “to see any future victories” in light of the condition “of our present day society.” None of us is entirely immune to bouts of despair and despondency, but I don’t recall that Marx and Mao ever encouraged an attitude of defeatism. Our line calls for perseverance in a protracted struggle.

All three contributors to this discussion in ULK 70 (including UMT comrade) wrote with erudition and aplomb expressing sound ideas from slightly different points of view, all in a spirit of unity. What a wonderful dialog!

As a former teacher, I cannot ratify USW9’s negative self-assessment. We should all compare ourselves to Mao, but for criticism and self-improvement, not resignation.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We welcome readers’ examples of wins and loses in their efforts to reach others so we can keep having these kinds of tactical discussions. As a group, our knowledge is greater than as individuals and we can learn from the collective experience and try out what others have observed to work. We’ll just add that we would not say the prisoner USW9 was trying to reach was an “imperialist” as Packout states. Certainly they held pro-imperialist views as most people in the United $tates do. Most in this country are allies and supporters of U.$. imperialism because it serves them, and even some who are oppressed by it are taken in, maybe they think it will serve them in the future or it serves others around them. Either way most people in this country are petty bourgeois, or labor aristocracy and many are lumpen. And while their alliance with the imperialists is strong, different sectors of these classes, different individuals and especially the oppressed nations within this country can be won over to an anti-imperialist view with proper application of unity-struggle-unity.

chain