By the Professor
brother, race against race, inmate against inmate, administration
against inmates, officer against officer, Keefe and AZ DOC against
inmates...when will this madness end?
I’m currently an inmate in the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC)... I’ve been incarcerated since ‘07, and this is
when all the madness started.
First of all you start by going
through the court system which is corrupted, outdated, and rotten from
the inside out. They charge you for a crime based on fiction, which is
the facts; they take you to court at midnight where you sit or stand. If
you don’t have room to sit they pack us in this room like sardines in a
can, and they give you a peanut butter sandwich that’s supposed to last
you for that whole day while you wait to go to court.
time you get to see the judge you are sleepy, tired, plus hungry while
you watch the prosecutor, judge, even your public pretender (defender)
come into court well-rested, while they pressure and threaten you into
signing a plea. How can you make a sound decision under these
conditions? Basically you are under duress God forbid that you take your
case to trial. By then they are so angry that you took them to trial,
that case becomes a vendetta, you get a sentence not for your crime, but
for not signing your plea agreement and taking them to trial, where
they hang you out to dry in their prison system which is over-crowded,
nasty, racist, and downright broke But I will soon get to that.
I would like to ask “Why is there no one investigating all those cases
that were under Andrew Thomas?” I saw on the news where he was found
guilty and disbarred for going after judges and prominent people in the
community under false accusations. If he did this to people who are
supposed to be outstanding people in the community, then what do you
think the prosecutors under his watch were doing to the little man in
court? The people that don’t have anyone watching their back? I would
please like to get feedback on this. When will this madness end?
we get to the nitty gritty part of the system, which is the Arizona
Department of Corrections, where I don’t see no correction but
corruption. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are like 55% of officers and
CO III’s that come into the system and do their job. The other 45% that
work in here will get you seriously hurt, maimed or outright killed. And
this is very real in Arizona’s prison system, when you have corruption
in a prison system it is very dangerous; not just for the inmates but
also for staff that comes in and try to do their job. They don’t even
have a clue they are already compromised. Most of the female guards are
sleeping with and bringing in dope for inmates. When will the madness
When I came into the system they were supposed to give
you 2 shirts and 2 new pants and socks, and if possible, a pair of
sneakers, blanket, pillow, and sheets. But when I came in all I got was
used pants with holes in them, a shirt that was too small and too tight -
cutting off my circulation - a pillow that had blood on it, and a
patched up blanket. I had to sleep on a cold mat for almost 2 months. I
had to wait until someone else was going home to ask them to leave me
their sheet and blanket and a decent pillow. A lot of times this is how
it is for many inmates. Then the system turns to you and tells you that
they’re broke. How dare they tell that to us when every year they pimp
the federal government for a check for every inmate in this prison
system. Where is the money going that they get for us?
tell you that we’re not seeing it in here, they even cut back on our
food portions, talking about how they are feeding us healthier. What is
so healthy about a damn hot dog? We get no fruits, nothing that’s really
healthy for us as they claim, unless they consider rat droppings,
flies, spit, and hair as being nutritious. Let me put it this way: the
kids going through drive thru at McDonald’s have more in their Happy
Meal than us grown men in prison have on their tray.
to buy our own clothing yet you can’t leave the prison with it. They
take it from you saying that’s their property, how is that? So now they
are forcing us to go to the store, which is a company by the name of
Keefe, which is in a partnership with the DOC, that is the only other
source where you can buy food and clothing. So now it’s a business where
DOC feeds us less, forcing us to go to Keefe in order for us to survive
in this bottomless pit (prison). If this is not corruption then I don’t
what else to call it other than something very evil and wicked - when
will this madness end?
Now their biggest promotion in the
prison system is racism. If you were not racist before, by the time you
come in and leave the system you will be a racist, no matter what race. I
guess that’s their way, their strategy to divide and conquer the
inmates in the system, because if you keep us fighting over race then we
will be too busy fighting each other to really pay attention to what
they are doing to us. Then they keep the population drugged up by
allowing drugs into the prison. Once again, if they keep the population
drugged up they will be too high (in an altered state of mind) to really
see what they are constantly doing to us. The majority of inmates walk
around the yard high every day. When will this madness end?
line is that what I’m trying to say in these few words is that whole
damn system from jail to court to prison is fucking corrupt and the
people are crooked and greedy. From public pretenders and prosecutors
who sleep with judges for favors, to a very corrupted prison system.
When will this madness end?
Power to the people that believe in real justice and righteousness!
Still ready for the Revolution -
for example: corrupt officers at Douglas are under investigation for international money laundering.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
"Justice is on our side, but victory won’t be handed to us."
I think all liberationists, seekers of justice, and anti-imperialists would agree that we can’t execute a robust campaign against the state’s penal, educational, criminal justice, or economic institutions with personnel who: still believe in the promises of capitalism, are still convinced of this Government’s legitimacy, and/or silently accept the shameful “Privileges” of “Whiteness”, labor aristocracy, “Black Elitism”, or Neo-Colonizer status. Even when we consciously say “We’re against capitalism, racism,” etc. our habits and subconscious are still infected with the individualist and materialist ideologies. That’s why WOMMB Institute is committed to the decolonization and re-development of the hearts and minds of oppressed captives as the cornerstones and prerequisites for prison abolition, state resistance, and community building.
What we’re trying to tackle has a seldom, if ever, discussed obstacle that has been in freedoms way for a long time. i call it “The Sequestration of Humanity’s Accumulative Knowledge and Experience” like air, water, land,and technology; education (not mere selective training) belongs to us all, equally. It’s not the property of Yale, Oxford, or N.Y.U. This society, rules by corporations and tyrannical government, has been, and is depriving the people of our ability and duty to contribute our utmost to humanity and fully realize our talents and potential. High School diplomas, community college and undergraduate “training” only condition us to gain employment (more slavery). We’re not taught how to think, but what to think. We’re not taught skills to be independent and free thinkers, to create for ourselves and communities, to serve our own interest that are counter to the “Established Order”
We’re not taught in ways that we can add value to a revolutionary culture. The elite few raise their children in isolated/secure environments where their basic nutrition, shelter, safety, and psychological needs are met; allowing them to be able to focus on “elevated” concerns. They go to prep schools where they’re trained to be leaders, thinkers, and problem-solvers. The exact opposite of what we “slaves” learn in public, charter and low income private schools. They’re guaranteed slots at Ivy League schools and fraternities and sororities. Advanced degrees cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. They don’t own the knowledge! We have to be “debriefed”. Where’s our training? How can we “occupy” the education and teach ourselves what’s necessary for getting free and building our independent democracy? We have to think outside of the box and find ways to re-capture the knowledge. Steal it back! Expropriate it?
The majority of our oppressed youth in prison and i the communities, who would naturally and logically take the mantle of freedom fighting are preoccupied with consumerism, entertainment, “feeling good” and status. Ignorance is something to take pride in. Moral and civic cowardice are rewarded. The criminalization process is funnelling them into prison by the thousands. If oppressed community members (youth especially) remain undeveloped and psychologically colonized they will continue to populate prisons- if already incarcerated oppressed community members remain undeveloped, imperialist institutions, like prisons, will remain, presenting unnecessary resistance to our abolition movement; defeating our purpose. Again, this is why W.O.M.B.B. Institute is relevant and necessary- a key component- to prison abolition and our struggles. If our communities can expropriate the knowledge and get it to us; we’ll teach and learn. We’ll train and blossom.
Tomorrow, one of the W.O.M.M.B. Institute’s apprentices is being released to a halfway house. I only had 4 months to mentor him. He’s come a long way from not caring about life and being irresponsible. And his “mind” is set on change. But, I’m only cautiously optimistic because it takes a lot longer than 4 months to completely recondition thought and behavior patterns. It takes more leadership skills and knowledge than I currently possess to fully initiate someone into adulthood and sovereignty; more than one individual's coaching, without community support. It will take an additional higher quality of mentoring, teaching, incentivized economic security and course materials, connected to rich community support networks and consultancy- a whole training apparatus behind W.O.M.M.B institute - meeting our discarded, damaged, and imprisoned community members needs, so they can be fine tuned to add value to our special movements. These will be men and women in prison fighting their oppressors instead of each other. Instead of terrorizing our communities again; when they get out, they’ll physically join the collectives and co-ops they were in part of in prison. This is also one of our strategies for prison abolition. It’s called “de-population”. W.O.M.M.B Institute Participants and graduates/initiates won’t be drug users and since they’ll have the advanced educations to be able to create income streams and economics they won’t have a need to sell drugs- Thus a reduction in drug related crimes, sending them to prison.
We sincerely need our communities’ support in getting the materials needed for our re-development and advanced training - the beginning of a genuine prison education movement. We need course books not currently in use by colleges and universities- maybe they’ve been thrown away, given away, or “in storage” somewhere. We can receive internet downloads and printouts through regular mail. Maybe there are online college courses that can be “tapped into” and printed out. We can receive newspapers and journals. All publications (books, magazines, tapes/cds) that are new have to come from publisher, bookstore, or distributor directly. Amazon.com is fine, but not e-bay or Amazon Marketplace, etc. No used books. But, again, we encourage internet printouts and even xeroxed books because they come to us straight through the mail and we can have unlimited amounts. Books from AK Press, PM Press, and other anarchist, leftist, and liberal/progressive publishers have half price discounts for prisoners. Any other ideas you all may have for “Education Expropriation” are needed and welcomed. Maybe we can get educational materials from other countries like China. It’s all about creating options and thinking outside the limitations given to us to stifle growth.
We need educational materials, curricula, and mentoring in the following: 1) Rites of passage, ethics, philosophy, character development, 2) Political Science, Military Science, Psychology, Behavioral Sciences 3) Cooperative economics, Urban Farming/gardening, Co-operative business and collectives, urban planning, community organizing, personnel management 4) World history, anthropology, sociology, metaphysics 5) Foreign affairs, revolutions/rebellions, law (international, Civil Rights), Diplomacy, negotiation, conflict resolution, treaty negotiation 6) Foreign Languages, teaching, journalism, writing communications, public speaking, speech writing, any others our communities recommend.
Thanks for your support.
In struggle and solidarity.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
(postmarked AUG 8, 2013)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the notion/suggestion that WOMMB Institute could be misconstrued as a “Prison Gang” or “gang” in general. That bothers me because I know that anyone making that claim is deliberately trying to undermine positive efforts at community, family and personal growth and revival. Some people secretly hate anything good and wholesome. “Misery loving company” is an understatement. These folks want underdeveloped and repressed communities and people to stay as they are.
I hate entertaining these considerations because, number one: its ridiculous; and, number two: it distracts us from the real issues that need discussion. Let’s be clear...WOMMB Institute is exactly that: An Institution!
Our mission statement, charter, other documents, and observable activities transparently give evidence to this fact. I fact, we are the antithesis of a “gang” in our fundamental ideology, world view, and operations. We pose no threat to each other as prisoners, staff, or the public; we’re not an escape risk; we’re anti-drug use and smuggling & distributing; we’re anti-aggressive violence, anti-extortion; we believe that all captives/prisoners are of one class in struggle against oppression & coercion. Peddling and using drugs further enslaves us & prevents us from thinking critically and addressing our collective problems constructively. Doped up zombies don’t reform or abolish prisons or resist oppression & corruption. They don’t contribute anything positive to social growth.
WOMMB Institute is also not interested in “controlling the prison yard”, politically. That’s absurd! You can’t “control” anything if you don’t have political authority, agency, freedom, independent institutions, self-determination or something worth controlling. We’re trying to get away from prisons and do away with them, not control them. Insane!
There’s also this promoted persona of the “convict” & “convict culture” ; An ethos and culture that glorifies prison life and the actions some of us resort to in order to cope and survive. Being satisfied with $80.00 store purchases, fancy, brand new prison clothes & shoes, cell phones, etc., as “status symbols”. Ridiculous!
You can’t improve upon prison life, make it hospitable, or less disagreeable. There are no creature comforts to mask the depravity. WOMMB Institute rejects these misguided pursuits.
Our focus is Human Development, maximizing human potential & possibilities, and making ourselves fit for civic participation and social and moral productivity. Our public school systems, the media, religious institutions, governments, prisons, etc., aren’t doing this job at al satisfactory rate, on a mass scale, affecting our most underprivileged; So we, the Communities, have to devise institutions, “Outside the box”. WOMMB Institute is one of them.
These prisons & juvenile detention centers are creating monsters, exacerbating crime and violence in our communities. If families and communities support institutions & organizations like WOMMB, we can greatly increase the numbers of men & women coming home from prison as assets to prosperity and happiness. It’s not a crime or against prison policies to improve self and build noble character. It’s a crime not to !
We can’t rely on the state developed and facilitated “self help” programs because there’s an inherent contradiction & conflict of interest in the whole idea: Officers and state employees & contractors are trained and paid to undo, deconstruct, and impair our humanity, and our sense of self-worth and any attainment of self-determination. This guarantees our cyclic returns to prison, this, guaranteeing their jobs and livelihoods. The notion of prisons wanting to help prisoners stay out of prison or improve themselves is a rhetorical ethic. It’s what the public wants to hear. It’s what eases your minds. They lie to you and take your billions in tax dollars. Is this acceptable?
Is WOMMB Institute relevant & promising?
Will you unite with us and support our cause?
In Struggle, Solidarity, and Peace,
When you want to change and do something different in your life, you can’t sit there and just expect things to change without making some type of effort. You have to learn to crawl before you walk and before you run.
Participating in Black August has been that stepping stone for me. The encouragement, motivation, and wisdom from the Brothers has already become a positive motivating force in my life. What I like about Black August is that I can participate in it without having to compromise my Christianity. Because it’s teaching me self-discipline, self-sacrifice, unity, and education. All of the principles our ancestors lived by.
1 Corinthians 13:10-11 says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
For me, that scripture represents what Black August embodies.
Growth from Maleness to Manhood.
“Hail Martin, Hail Malcom, Mohammed Ali
If a change shall come, it must
start with me! Then Farrakhan
came marching changing boys to men
But before we can be anything
We will be Afrikan!”
WOMMB Institute has been a true form of rehabilitation for me, over the past 6-8 months. The values of manhood that have been instilled in me, truly is a result of the keen leadership of this organization.
Although I know I have not reached my full potential yet, I am more than confident that through WOMMB Institute I will be properly equipped to be successful in society upon my release date.
Black August has been a valuable month for WOMMB. We have developed a system for this month, which is focusing on knowledge of self and self discipline. The constant dedication and motivation from the elders has been essential to my growth this month. I honestly feel that each day that has passed this month, I’ve received a great amount of growth. Our daily study groups consist of, African American culture, expansion of our vocabulary and discussions about our daily topic. I believe that obtaining these essentials, will lead to a well educated and rehabilitated correctional facility.
WOMMB Institute has yet to peak, and I know that if this program were to massively expand, our prison population would become ready to return to society as productive men and women.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Postmarked August 8, 2013:
"A few of us captives here in A.D.O.C. have decided to observe Black August and commit ourselves to a regimen of discipline and sacrifice, so that we can not only understand the struggles & oppression out revolutionary predecessors suffered, but fortify our wills, develop our characters and focus on more important affairs than our physical and sensual appetites.
We have all agreed that for the month of August we will observe the following standards:
- No music or television between 6am and 6pm
- No eating between 6pm and 6am
- Wake up by 6am
- Self reflection, meditation, solitude at least ½ hour per day
- Mandatory 1 hour of group study
- Mandatory 1 hour of private study
- Work out 5 days a week minimum
- No gambling
- We each have our turn to bring a “word of the day” ; a word not normally or necessarily understood so we can strengthen our vocabulary.
- We have to organize our days into an orderly regimen, with specific, designated times for our
activities. (with common sense flexibility)
- Stop all bad habits like cursing, frivolous conversations, smoking, unhealthy diet (as much as can be controlled ) drugs, arguing, etc.
Agreed upon penalties for bad habits violations are: owing 5 pushups to each participating member. For “major violations” of the rest of the rules, sanctions consist of: running 1 mile, no cd player/music, T.V. unplugged for a week, 2nd violation: 2 mile run, no store/commissary, no music or T.V. for a week.
It’s been 7 days in, and so far we’ve really been having a great experience. A few have had penalties for “major infractions”, and have had to do push ups. Yes, even I absentmindedly cursed and “felt the wrath” of my comrades, demanding the push ups owed to them :)
In our group sessions we’re learning a lot about the politics & oppression of commercial advertising, media and pop culture. How our behavior and ideas are subtley shaped by our environments. It’s amazing how a lot of us are criminalized and accept society’s expectations of being a drug dealer, a pimp, or a prostitute. Teachers in low income, oppressed school districts don’t demand as much from Latino students. They don’t give emotional reinforcement to a 13 year old Black Boy because he “fits a stereotype” of “aggressiveness”.
So many problems to consider. From crime to education, to spirituality. Yet we are the ones who have to bring solutions and implement them effectively.
So, our study sessions are providing a lot of food for thought on how we can be alert to the subtle influences, and how we need to take control of our own rehabilitation & transformation processes to insure the outcome will be beneficial to ourselves, families & communities.
We look forward to a successful & fulfilling Black August and I hope to get feedback from like minded, progressive individuals and/or organizations, etc. Tell me what you think about WOMMB Institute’s ideas and proposal. What role do you think we captives can play in building our communities? How can we help each other? Are there any teachers, mentors, or lawyers out there who can add value to the much needed conversations about crime, community development and resistance against oppression & racism?
What about mothers & fathers and Grandparents?
I’d like to hear from you too.
Until next time, be at Peace and stay conscious!"
In Struggle & Solidarity,
Herukhuti - WOMMB Institute
Friday, August 9, 2013
Prison abolition & resistance take many different forms. I’d like to discuss alternative, unpopular, and even unknown strategies that have long range positive effects, and strike at the causes of prisoners’ oppression. In a lot of ways the culture of resistance and anti-imperialism starts with-in the individuals making up the group or class/population. This movement is a “war campaign” and our effectiveness depends on the personal perfection, discipline and overall character of those participating in their liberation. These are unconventional tactics for long term, protracted guerilla resistance. They must be embraced as the core of our training and preparation. I’m talking about the education of the will and the cultivation of Noble Character traits through asceticism, self-sacrifice, and various austerities.
Of course the utilization of think tanks studies of history economics law social justice, civil rights, etc. are important. But the will has to be trained to live out the ideas & principles one has embraced and studied. Plenty of drug addicts embrace and agree with the idea and theory of being drug free, but can’t practice it in their lives because of untrained, weakened wills. This is the ultimate form of resistance and rebellion because we advocate renouncing the very culture and civilization (and its values) that oppress us.
Through our studies of the effects and symptoms of imperialism, colonialism, oppression and prison, we’ve learned that their coercive nihlistic natures create particular combinations of characteristics in their victims. Shame, self-hate, self-destructiveness, self-& group alienation, sociopathy,self-medicating, indolence, enervation, fear, etc. These are just a few that come to mind and they must be annihilated.
The propaganda, social institutions, norms, cultural trends and other societal elements that reinforce these psychological diseases must be resisted while also creating new ideas, principles and institutions to organize around that serve our interests. This culture’s media radio television politics, economics etc are all opiates and surrogates to keep us distracted, placated and numb so we’ll forget the pain of living in environments with no hope or values.
Once our wills are trained we can resist the DOC’s attempts to pacify us with concessions of more cable channels, fund raisers and other “incentives” that only further hinder our ability to evolve and maintain dignity. Only a disciplined self-mastered person who stands on principle can see past the concessions and stay focused on the Grand Vision, stay the course, and honor something in themselves worthier than their need for immediate sensual gratification.
Conjugal visits, larger food portions, more channels, getting pronography magazines back, more recreation time, fancier clothing have nothing to do with liberation or reaching our potential as human beings living a meaningful life or being self-determined. If all the privileges and pacifiers were given to us, we’d still be slaves. Sometimes these so-called “achievements” & “victories” that make us feel good cause us to accept our shackles and identify with our conditions of socio-economic & political impotence.
You can’t improve the concept and experience of incarceration. Let’s keep the revolution on the level of civilization- building, new values and human-centeredness. Focus on character-building, changing public opinion and advanced education as core strategies for resistance. These strategies will depopulate prisons, long term; they will build independent capable individuals & communities; they will discredit the state and its socio-political ideologies. We resist and defy tyrranical authority by forming our own support networks, fasting from & renouncing television, frivolous games, & conversation, pop culture and drugs, and by not forming relationships with guards.
By even embracing poverty & hardships to stay sharp and focused so that we can’t be bribed, compromised or coerced, we’ll slowly wean ourselves off this culture’s alluring indulgences and our attachment to imperialism’s methods for destroying our humanity & potential. These strategies will get us closer to our goals than any work stoppages, hunger strikes, violence or lawsuits. Remember: “Long Range Vision” for overall change.
In struggle, solidarity, & Peace,
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Underdeveloped, Impoverished And Oppressed Communities (Nations) have to start producing SERIOUS LEADERSHIP FROM WITHIN, and independently solve our socioeconomic and political problems through a truly cooperatively democratic life system, involving effort from all members. We need new paradigms centered on our interests and needs. We can’t keep serving the interests of those who oppress and exploit us. It’s also not an option for at risk populations to continue having isolated partisan groups emotionally reacting to our collective genocidal conditions, in a disorganized manner; we must respond to our circumstances with strategic planning, long term sacrificial commitments and unified cooperative leadership. We have to invoke scientific creative imagination and organic objectivity on a mass scale, along with superior motives for our mobilization. Advanced world views that stamp out individualism, subjectivity and materialism are necessary, not only for our survival, but for us to have meaningful, significant lives, and to experience the full spectrum of human possibilities. We can and should live different lives than what this “Counter Feit Civilization” limits us to (no matter the rhetoric about “Equality, Liberty, Justice, And the Pursuit of Happiness)
W.O.M.M.B Institute has emerged to operate on the causative level, beginning the resurrection of perennial values that will spawn human centered cultures and help individuals reach their maximum potential.
W.O.M.M.B Institute also takes a different approach from most other “organizations”. We’re beginning this up hill, protracted struggle with prisoners, ex-captives, and the “underprivileged” as agents of our own transformation and as positive forces for good in communities. We are going to produce superior human beings our families and communities can depend on and trust, be protected and served by. This is a much needed institution because most men and women from underdeveloped communities and oppressed colonies who get college educations never return to develop and liberate them. The government and dominant imperialist cultures are the only ones to benefit and prosper from their growth. So most of our leadership and service potential is in prison or other forms of criminal justice systems. But make no mistakes, most of us won’t “make the cut” ; we’ll give up on ourselves, make excuses, choose selfishness, and seek social hand out/entitlements. Great! That’s how we weed out the weak and un-industrious. It’s how we vet for character traits our communities need right now. We can’t afford to continue to waste time and energy on those who want to keep harming us and themselves, after being given a chance at redemption and to contribute their utmost to community justice and well-being. Only we can turn the destructive, stagnant trends around.
W.O.M.M.B Institute is the nucleus and bridge maker that provides traditional principles, social theory, and noble values necessary for the complete resurrection and empowerment of our stifled communities. We are the aspiration towards the loftiest, previously unknown, human possibilities of civic and moral greatness.
Friday, August 2, 2013
Goal: To create an alliance for us to commitedly and actively work together to solve our crime, education, social, economic and political problems, without the interference or manipulation of law enforcement, state agencies, welfare, parole officers, public schools, etc.; to start building our own institutions.
A) Open consistent lines of 2-way communication and dialogue between prisoners and communities to build mutual understanding, respect, accountability, trust and effort; so that prisoners will know what’s expected of us when we return, how we need to serve and participate in community life and know that we are needed and wanted as contributors.
We should be kept abreast of current events going on in our home communities and plan years ahead of our release dates as to how we’re going to make a smooth transition into society. This would be done through coordinated planning, involving prisoners getting education in fields / jobs our communities advise us on, based on availability, demand and necessities.
We will also use our personal interaction to mend all emotional wounds, seek forgiveness and facilitate for a genuine redemption process with our communities, rather than the state; establishing ‘responsibility contracts’ and real commitments to serve.
B) Form functioning mentoring partnerships, sponsorships, and reciprocal participation groups to initiate wealth building enterprises: pairing off to work on various projects in the communities’ socio-political and economic interests. Prisoners can do research and development activities, think tanks, etc. Co-ops can be established, working towards economic independence and collective sufficiency. Prisoners can become a valuable resource and an asset to our communities, sharing the labor and struggle along with the benefits and fruits. The simultaneous awakening of the socio-political and economic consciousness of the 2 halves of our communities.
C) Start an information campaign to give facts, data and stats about the true nature of prison life, the injustice system and law enforcement. To show the genocide and corruption. To hold Arizona prison officials, legislators, and public servants accountable for their ‘misdeeds’, that negatively effect us in terms of how they vote on laws and policy and enforce laws.
To let the public know the fallacies of:
a) ADOC being a rehabilitation and corrections institution;
b) Our human, civil and prisoner rights being honored and upheld;
c) Warehousing us being the best option available;
d) The recidivism rate being improved and crime dropping;
e) Law enforcement and government working in the best interests of the poor and working-class peoples.
We are potentially a unified civilization made up of multiple oppressed colonies, nations and classes. We have a common adversary and our watchwords are: anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, anti-oppression; anti-modern civilization! Being against this modern civilization also means being against racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, materialism, and individualism. Modern civilization is genocide! They have many different institutions for carrying out genocide: media, school / education, ‘health care’ systems, agriculture, pollution, prisons, police, welfare, economic systems, laws, courts, ghettos. These realities kill us emotionally, intellectually, morally, socially, genetically and culturally. Our independence has been destroyed. We may come from different cultural backgrounds and may have experienced different forms and extremes of oppression, but we are ONE, and our oppressor doesn’t make those distinctions when it’s time to exploit us. Our communities are viewed as external undeveloped nations, only useful for tax dollars and labor values to enrich our ‘mother country’. They don’t invest in our communities; tax dollars aren’t used to enhance our children’s education; we are a surplus population.
The majority of the men and women in prison are from low income, non-privileged, non-white, marginalized communities; not necessarily poor or jobless. We’re not ‘lumpen’. Forget all the Eurocentric, rigid labels and classifications. The same pool of individuals in prison are a microcosm of where you life: our disadvantaged communities. In our communities there are high school and college educated, high school drop outs, drug addicts, alcoholics, hustlers, sex addicts, highly intelligent, employed, unemployed, sometimes employed, homeless, homeowners, ex-prisoners, business owners, Christians, Muslims, and atheists. You know what? Same as in prison. Because we come from you. We are you. We are your sons and daughters, husbands and wives, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins, friends, students and neighbors. Some of you have been in here. Some of you will be coming here. Whether you broke the law or not; or whether or not you ‘deserved’ the severity of the sentence. We’re just experiencing the different forms an extremes of genocide and oppression right now. You guys might be getting evicted from your apartments, laid off from work, or racially profiled by the cops. Your form of genocide might be not getting land rights on a portion of your ‘reservation’. We’re experiencing the forms calls: prison, inadequate nutrition and health care, and ‘warehousing’. Our genocide is the stripping of our rights to participate in democracy (voting) or right to assemble. We have to unite!!
We have to recognize that we are one class of people. We’ve let law enforcement, politicians, and the media trick and misinform us into being at odds with one another. You get tricked into voting for ‘tough on crime’ laws and convinced that the modern prison system deters crime, and rehabilitates ‘offenders’. What most of us don’t realize is that the whole system is a sham, and that they create crime and criminals through their violent examples. This civilization socializes our children for prison, slavery, and meaningless lives of chasing money and status. We give them full license to come into our communities to kill us; we take our children to their schools to have their minds and self confidence destroyed. We blame ourselves when we don’t ‘succeed’ in life according to modern standards of success. It’s been set up for us to miss the mark, even if a few of us ‘slip through’ and strike it rich. They teach us that if we stay in our place and accept the ‘mild forms’ of genocide, we won’t go to prison or get murdered by them. Your only way out is to accept their values and become an exploiter yourself: don’t develop your community, and depend on your oppressors for ideas and social welfare. In other words, assimilate and integrate. Even then, on subconscious levels over the long term, your psychological orientation becomes bound to the economy, merely existing to eat and sleep to be able to go to work again and again.
Looking at ‘life’ from a reasonable position, people respond differently to oppressive, genocidal conditions. Some self-medicate or rob stores; some drop out of school or become ‘over achievers’; some commit murder or repeatedly enter into abusive relationships; some become sex workers or exercise junkies, workaholics, etc. Some react to our controlled environments of harshness and bleakness by quitting their jobs or abandoning their families or just having a glass of wine at the end of the day; some beat their spouses and children; some suppress the metaphysical and emotional anguish and ‘just deal with it’. It’s obvious that some of us will go to prison for these responses and reactions to oppressive conditions and some won’t. Some of us commit these acts and ‘don’t get caught’. I’m not excusing or condoning poor choices or anti-social / criminal behavior. I’m only pointing out that we suffer from the same forms of genocide and are the same people. And instead of supporting a government and its value systems that create the genocidal conditions in the first place; as enlightened people we need to come up with our own solutions to our socio-economic and political problems. Instead of cruelly punishing and further destroying those of us who have violated our communities (burglaries, robbing, drug dealing, etc.), we might want to start occupying our social institutions and recreating, re-engineering them to serve our interests, in our image, so that our civilization will begin to take shape. Our institutions will no longer create criminals, individuals stripped of self-respect and asocial ‘civic vampires’.
But, let me digress here and open your understand to the depths of genocide in the forms of the judicial process and penal system, so you can witness how truly depraved and wicked the privileged few are. They depress our communities economically (no jobs or resources or avenues to grow our food), so that mere survival is our focus. Our tax dollars aren’t spent on quality education or industrial capital so that we have the human and material resources to provide our own jobs and be self-sufficient and not need welfare. When youth turn to crime because of the above and because of poor leadership, parenting and teaching, they are targeted by law enforcement. They are selectively prosecuted and charged (yes, prosecutors and judges come to legal decisions based on race and income categories). They (we) are selectively sentenced as well. Big corporations spend big money through media, news highlighting violence and crime to pump fear in communities, then present tough on crime bills and politicians for you to vote for. They convince us that more prisons are the answer and that ‘revenge justice’ is what we deserve. They encourage you to turn a blind eye to their corruption and to relinquish all oversight and monitoring of their closed door decision-making in state legislation and prison policy making. This neglect is coming back to ‘bite us in the rear’. You are unknowingly complicit in further destroying our communities.
Arizona Department of Corrections, Bureau of Prisons, County Jails, Law Enforcement in general, all violate the Geneva Convention, United Nations Human Rights Laws, and the treatment of prisoners protocol. They torture us psychologically and physically. We don’t even investigate it. We don’t ask questions. It’s accepted as ‘American culture’. We don’t realize that prison policies, the examples set by law enforcement through violence and dehumanization creates a violent and depraved prison culture that destroys our minds, moral decency, and decision-making ability that will allow us to be anything close to civilized, proactive, capable human beings once we return to YOU, our communities. The very place that says they ‘rehabilitate’ and ‘correct’ criminal behavior actually exacerbates it. In the same sense that when children grow up with an abusive parent, they tend to reproduce that behavior; or when a parents beats their children to make them behave, they usually become more misbehaved and dysfunctional. How can we captives be prepared to be good parents, responsible citizens, economically productive and engaged in community life, if we’re warehoused like cattle, with no real educational opportunities, jobs with real wages so we can support family and save money, no access to the ever-changing technology that’s being used, no real, healthy opportunities for interaction with our families, no right to vote for changes that directly affect our futures and interests?
Our governors, legislators, directors of prison, wardens are directly culpable and need to be brought up on charges, at state level, nationally and even internationally, for the war crimes, human, civil and prison rights’ violations, and hate crimes committed against prisons and our communities. They knowingly dehumanize prisoners and reduce us to fodder for their exploitative agenda; they brutalize us until we hate authority; they allow drugs into the system to control prison gangs into policing the prisoner population for the administration. So the ‘leaders’ tell the yards not to rebel or fight for our rights. Also, a drugged out population of ‘zombies’ aren’t concerned about adequate food, health care, or conditions of confinement and they will return to prison, giving employees ‘job security’. They make us want revenge and make sure we can’t function properly, then they send us home to our own poor communities (not the rich neighborhoods they live in) to rob, kill, kidnap. That is irresponsible and criminally negligent, especially when research has been done to prove there are much more effective methods for rehabilitation and re-educating that cost tax payers less money. Collectively, we need to get serious and bring attention to these issues and get involved on the political level.
Since we can’t (and shouldn’t) rely on government and the privileged ‘know it alls’ (corporations / intellectuals / elite) to create viable solutions to our problems regarding crime, poverty and ignorance, we have to think outside the box and get unconventional; get innovative and nuanced, and come up with our own remedies; using mutual aid and assistance, cooperative effort, and collective work and responsibility as our motivating values. I feel that we captives and ex-captives have to unite with you, our community leaders, activists, and members to repair the breaches of fear and alienation that were created as a result of our poor choices and exacerbated by our enemies. We must develop a synergistic collaboration for our survival and maintain it. We need to expose the uselessness of our current prison industries and penal systems and implement healthy programs to address violence and crime. Current prisons only create jobs for small town America and make profits for the ‘fat cats’, keeping oppressed nations and poor whites controlled and contained for our productive years. A few jobs for the small town folk aren’t worth our futures and community cohesiveness and prosperity.
Again, we can only repair our society if we unite, strategize, and make the biggest perpetrators of crime (directors, governors, police, etc.) accountable if we begin transforming our laws and the functioning of our societies. We captives are redeemable and lovable. A lot of us are natural leaders. A lot of us just needed to get off drugs and alcohol. A lot of us are changing our lives for the better, on our own, in spite of the state’s cruel obstacles. So, just imagine how many of us could be rehabilitated and remobilized, ready to participate in civic life, with the sponsorship and help our communities. This is a community issue, not just a prisoner problem. I sincerely hope that this will be the beginning of a courageous mobilization of solidarity in community building.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
We are born into a condition of compulsions,
cravings and social coercion.
Therefore, freedom is a challenge...a Victory.
Only the worthy attain it.
Those unified in struggle throughout history.
Education, Cooperation, Dedication...all preparations.
A few of the components for erecting a Sovereign Nation.
Inner Freedom of consciousness is accomplished
through personal struggle with the Ego self.
Civic Freedom through struggle against oppression is secured with our communities’ help.
Freedom is the twin sibling of self-reliance.
Freedom is justice; the companion of the defiant.