Help IWOC Prison Rebel Joshua Cartrette’s Transition Home!

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After years of struggling behind bars for prison abolition, anarchy and against white supremacy Joshua Zero Cartrette will be returning to the community sometime in the next few weeks! But the struggle continues! Let’s make sure our comrade who has been so important in the fight against white supremacy and the prison industrial complex in Oregon has the chance they deserve to build a life beyond prison walls!

While incarcerated, Josh was an active member of the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) and the founding member of the Anarchist Black Cross Oregon Prison Chapter.

Over the years Josh encouraged dozens of Prisoners around the state of Oregon to contribute to the Oregon Prisoner Forum – a monthly newsletter that circulates articles and information from incarcerated peoples – which he also founded. (Read about that here http://pdxabc.org/oregon-prisoner-art/). Josh also became an outspoken anti-racist and spent years mentoring incarcerated youth to escape the trappings of the white supremacist movement. For his organizing, he was repeatedly targeted by organized white supremacist gangs with death threats, forcing him to spend much of his time in protected custody.

Across the state Josh was able to form several study groups that provided both basic civil rights education as well as more in-depth political analysis for prisoners. Josh’s educational work has empowered prisoners from across the state to take steps towards self advocacy and to take a stand to improve the deplorable conditions they are subjected to – the 2016 prisoner work strike at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution being just one example (read more here http://pdxabc.org/noise-demo-at-deer-ridge-correctional-interview-with-oregon-iwoc-prisoner-on-the-inside/).

On September 9th 2016 prisoners across the country self-organized to take a historic stand against prison slavery and its continuation of institutionalized white supremacy and genocide. Oregon joined other states across the country in the wave of resistance that worked its way into institution after institution.

As a result of the subsequent wave of repression across the country, Josh was subjected to over 6 months of solitary confinement (a punitive practice considered across the world to be a form of torture) when prison officials found him to be working to “orchestrate Oregon prison inmates to become involved in a massive prison work stoppage in all institutions” where the “purpose of these prison work stoppage was to shut down the daily operations of the institutions based on the inmate’s perception that institutions utilize inmate labor for capitalist needs”. (See Joshes Report back and the ODOC official Misconduct Report here http://pdxabc.org/notes-on-repression-torture-survival-and-revolution-at-deer-ridge-correctional/)

White supremacists openly organize, fascist violence creeps back into the commonplace and the reactionaries are all abuzz – in this age, we have an obligation to support those who contest the fascist creep in the belly of the beast, where it festers and finds its most fertile recruiting grounds. Not only does the prison industrial complex act as a coercive and disciplinary institution created to enact and “legitimize” violence against marginalized communities, it serves as an incubation chamber for supremacist ideology and street violence by routinely allowing open white supremacist gangs to promote their toxic ideas, thus recruit more henchman and build lucrative criminal syndicate networks – within and outside its walls.

The severity of racism in Oregon prisons was expressed by the all afrikan revolutionary Rashid Johnson while incarcerated in Oregon in 2011,

“while the mainstream postures to project racism as a thing of the past, its rabid forms persist. Which I found upon my imprisonment in Oregon, where in contrast to most everywhere else in Amerika, the prison population is overwhelmingly white and thus feels no compulsion to conceal its bigotry. Security in numbers.

…despite the delusions of many, is the level of civilization in Amerika, which one sees reflected in Oregon prisons, where a rabid racist culture parades openly stripped of pretense and lying in wait for the moment it can be given free violent expression.”

To bring down the walls of racism and fascism we must begin by bringing down the prison walls.

Anti-racists and anti-fascists have an obligation to support those on the inside –the ones engaged in a life or death battle against these forces – and to welcome back our comrades when they re-enter our communities.

Support your fellow worker, fellow anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anarchist Joshua Ames Cartrette! We are asking folks across the country to consider throwing a benefit show or a letter writing night to incarcerated anti-racists and to donate some funds to Josh’s re-entry. Help him get his life off the ground once again and continue the work that he once began in prison.

The funds will be used to help josh find a new place to live and with all of the associated move in costs, to provide him time to look for work and to recover from the traumatic experience of incarceration.

 

Strike The Clause!: Strategy for Continued Prison Struggle and Update on Joshua Cartrette

Thanks to all who have written to Joshua over the last week! Thanks to the communities support, letters and call in’s Josh was finally delivered a stack of letters of support from around the world that prison officials were prior confiscating! Prison officials have also loosened their restrictions on Josh’s outing mail and so we have his latest article here! Although Josh is still in solitary confinement, your notes of encouragement and solidarity have made his time a whole lot more easy!

Strike the Clause

Regarding “A Treatise to End Mass Incarceration” by fellow worker Sergio M. Hyland (The Incarcerated Worker, Issue 5), Sergio makes a good case for pursuing legislative measures in our struggle against incarceration under capitalism.

As an anarchist I hold a pretty rigid “zero participation” line. Zero participationism is an easy way to sum up the principles laid out by Mikhail Bakunin and the anarchists of the First International. What it means is that we reject participation in governmental processes on all levels. Anarchism has traditionally concerned itself with “social” revolution as opposed to “political” revolution which is more the business of communism. History shows that political emasures often end in “protectionism” where the oppressed and the oppressor synthesize their conflict into some new type of mutually inclusive, interdependent social institution. This has a foul taste for the anarchist because it is our business not to reform or replace authoritative structures, but to eradicate them. Reform measures, like legislative appeals, though may seem to sometimes amend in our favor, actually end up working against us in the long run. And further, appealing to bureaucracy not only serves to validate the assumed authority of said bureaucracy, but ultimately incorporates our movement into the existing governmental apparatuses that got us here in the first place. Needless to say, this type of method is counter-revolutionary.

Obviously though, simply refusing to participate in governmental machinery alone would be pointless. This is why the anarchist takes proactive measures against government by building, joining, developing our own alternative egalitarian social structures. The IWW and IWOC are perfect examples.

Having given a brief explanation of zero participationism, I must say that I find comrade Sergio’s treatise a little frustrating. But my personal proclivities aside, all things considered, fellow worker Sergio has it correctly. We can also accept that, as zero participationism is a set of general principles the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is not a general social institution. Our traditional methodologies tend to break down just this side of the wall, which is how our troubles came to be in the first place. We have no real footing inside to apply the same historically tested and tried strategies, tactivs, etc. that we’ve developed in the context of general society. The reason for this is , as Sergio points out, the punishment clause in the 13th Amendment. If we eliminate the clause, that will be the single stroke which will bring the entire PIC to its knees, where in which we can then begin to effectively applying anarcho-syndicalist formulas that transcend the walls.

If this is true- which it is- the question then is, what is the most effective way in making it happen. I’m thinking of the California strikes of 2011 and 2013. I followed and participated in the dialogues around these events and in the aftermath there were talks of creating a Political Action Committee (PAC) which would be funded by incarcerated people, our families, and advocates adn which would then lobby on our behalf. The idea was met with positive attitudes but no real support crystalized behind it and there are a few reasons why: A) Incarcerated people notoriously broke. It’s a weekly fucking crisis just to get our coffee, envelopes, and toothpaste, and then we’re being asked to throw our money into bureaucracy? Good luck! B) There was no clear outline of how the PAC would work, who would run it, or even what a PAC actually is. C) There was no clear cut goal, no defined legal target regarding a PAC. D) And it was all relegated to the context of a single state. It was a provocative theory, just not practicable.

But the timing and structure of that situation was different than this one. And so perhaps the question should be revised. Should we create a PAC? Is creating a PAC even a realistic possibility in our current context?

The punishment clause, by all means, is a reasonable thing to rescind. It legalizes slavery for fucks sake! But I think everyone on both sides of the argument has a fair grasp of the implications of it happening. It would ultimately lead to utter disaster for a major part of our established economy. A lot of very rich political hobnobs would find their $10,000 suits soaked in sweat and I believe that very small, very reasonable constitutional rescission would change the entire shape of this so-called “nation”. In other words, it’s a good idea, which means there will be a lot of resistance.

Some differences between the Cali situation and IWOC in our favor. Here we can unite nationwide on a single clearly defined goal, as opposed to a call for state policy overhauls. As a nationwide movement we have more potential access to financial and other resource contributions. As sponsored by the IWW we have wider media access to gain public attention. There are a lot of intersections between IWOC and other abolition groups and IWW affiliates, which creates a lot of positive variables as well. I know the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) has a lot of common interests and perhaps they, even some of their incarcerated members, could work out the legal acrobatics of creating an effective PAC.

I’m also thinking of when Ben and Jerry- yes the ice cream dudes- attempted to donate something like a million dollars to the occupy movement. If we had a PAC we would have an actual substantiated entity that funds would go to for a very specific purpose. Everything would be nice and legal and official-like so people like Ben and Jerry or Uncle Bob would feel secure in where their money was going.

A PAC is our best bet. And I also think that any wage earning incarcerated people should be required to pay some type of dues, whether it be an actual PAC or IWOC proper. Say 10% of their income, for example, for anyone making over $20 per month. I know our outside rads are determined to carry us, but free rides for some weaken the body in whole. We should do what we can to be materially contributive, not just consumers.

Lastly on all this, we see a lot of different states pushing a lot of different issues in regard to the subjective conditions of their states PIC. Virginia claims they serve more time on their sentence second only to Florida, and get no parole. Here in Oregon we serve a minimum 80%- most of are doing 100% (myself included) and we also have no parole. Other states are prioritizing other issues respective to their various conditions.

The problem here is that when we make our subjective conditions our primary concern it may tend to ineffectualize our potential for a greater unification. Your problems are not mine, so why would I care to join your struggle?

Parole, good time, labor exploitation, rotten food, solitary confinement, etc. those are not the problems. Those are the symptoms, the indicators of a problem. Why should you want parole when the entire system is geared to bring you back inside?

Fact is, we should only be using these conditions to bring attention to their cause. If you break your arm you feel the pain. The pain is not the problem, the broken arm is. The pain is only an indicator of the problem. By taking pain-killers we are not fixing the problem. And in fact we need the pain. The pain is good because it lets us know the exact state we are in.

As we wage our campaigns against the PIC we should make the primary focus the Punishment Clause in the 13th Amendment, while using our adverse environments only to indicate the ways in which incarceration under capitalism/prison slavery manifests itself while that clause exists. When demonstrating or striking we should call for nothing more, nothing less, than to strike the clause. This will also unify our movement and make it cohesive and truly nationwide.

The Oregonian incarcerated worker earns an average of $40 per month to do basically nothing but sit around watching satellite TV, getting fat shoving Twinkies in our faces. Easy time! I could easily do the same-slip into a vegetative state till my date rolls up then shake this shit-show off like a bad dream.

But fuck that! If anyone else is hard-timin’, I’ma hard time it right along with you. The point is this. Why would I want better conditions than anyone else if they can’t have the same? At that point I’m only asking for excess, fucking trash! Table scraps thrown down only to some while others go without. Should I petition our common master so that I might have more than you? Or even an equal measure of scraps to yours? Are not my interests yours simply because those who lord themselves over both of us allot me more “privileges” than they allot you?

This is the game we’ve been drawn into, divide and control. I see your scraps are better than mine, so I fight with my neighbor to have better scraps as well. You, having better scraps than I, fear I might come for yours so you build defenses and isolate.

They have convinced us that this is “human nature”- to fight one another for scraps. But this is a lie. It is not a system built on principles of nature, but rather on deceitful machinations. It is by design. It is a game. And we’ve been drawn into it with a stacked deck.

Upon realizing this, then, if we continue to play the game and make appeals, and position for scraps, we then become complicit, not only in the system itself, but also in the deterioration of our own integrity. Personally I won’t play it. I find it rude and disrespectful and frankly I find it boring. In this thing, as in all things, it’s all of us or none. I want nothing more than I have now, and wouldn’t even mind if they took more that I do have away. I don’t want it. It’s scraps. The only thing I care for is in chopping the legs out from under the psychopaths who toss them down. The only way to do that is to strike that single target as a single force. Strike the clause!

Onward!

2 Months in Solitary Later: Post September 9th Repression in Oregon

No law is too low for the injustice system! Just when I thought I was seeing the worst they could do to me they find yet a new way to make it worse. The Department of Corruptions knows no limits in its mission to destroy the rights and spirits of human beings.
Retaliatory punishment is illegal! Stripping me of my right to communicate with the outside world is illegal! Blocking me from seeking resolutions to legal claims issues with civilians is illegal! yet that does not stop the Department of so-called “corrections” and its gestapo agents from doing just that! Authority is tyranny and it can be seen no other way. Hypocrisy may just be the single most critical tool in the arsenal of authority and they employ it with zeal to crush any dissent from their indoctrination on any level. Authority is tyranny!
Authority is tyranny. But it’s very existence reveals the fears and weaknesses of those who wield it.

Compensation by intellectual machinations. The religious fears of death. The homophobe fears his own sexuality. the sexist fears his own masculine shortcomings. The racist fears anyone who do not look like him. And the authoritarian fears all of it! Authoritative institutions and their blind servants assume grand airs of self-righteous confidence and outward displays of power and strength. But it’s a lie! A veneer! And all one has to do to see beneath it is to chip away at the surface. It begins to crack. And what one sees beneath the cracks is a wide scale psychological sickness and moral void. Pure rot! And the only way to cure this rot is to cut it out and burn it to ashes. Every last trace of it. From the household to the prison house to the state house and beyond.
And what can I do? A single convict in a single cell with no contact to the outside world? I can keep chipping away at the veneer. And each of their attempts to stop me only motivates me to step it up. Why? Because their retaliations are only proof that I’m invoking their fears and weaknesses. The more we reveal, the weaker they become.
Hypocrites, appointed to uphold the so-called “law” yet who break that law when the validity of that appointment is questioned. And questioned only by someone as lowly as a criminal and social outcast? Something is obviously not as it appears! I smell fear! Let me start at the beginning…
June-September 2016 At Deer Ridge Correctional Intuition in Madras, Oregon, the Mailroom Supervisor Ms. Simmelink-Rask begins confiscating and rejecting mail to and from certain inmates (myself included) and two specific addresses on teh outside for no more reason than her dislike of the political views being discussed. She then begins violating all mail from those addresses because of the addresses. I begin a grievance process on the issue.
Superintendent (Warden) Mr. Causey refuses me my due process for mail reviews and grievances. He gives no reason, no explanation and responds to none of my “kites”.
Thanks to the grievance and diversity coordinator Mrs. Geils (who is a compassionate and wonderful humyn being who deserves flowers!) I have piles of records proving illegal deliberate indifference on the part of Superintend Mr. Causey and Mailroom Supervisor Ms. Simmelink-Rask.
August 25th: I make a conference phone call from Deer Ridge Correctional Institution to outside activists talking about problems incarcerated people face and my attempts with the ABC to educate incarcerated people. Only days later. Captain T. Manu at the prison in Madras Oregon takes me off the list for vocational programs through the local college. He gives me no explanation.
September 8th: the day before the call for nation wide prison strikes, he finally gives me audience. We make an agreement. If I refrain from participating or influencing others to participate in strikes, he would put me in the vocational program.
September 9th: Finds me sitting at a table under the guards nose reading punk rock magazines the entire day. My word is good. Is captain Tm Manu’s word good? You already know the answer! Fuck no!
September 21st: Not only did I not go to the vocational program, but the gestapo cuffs me in the middle of a phone call and throws me in the hole without a word. Myself and several other inmates spend our first 14 days with no pens or envelopes. This is illegal! We’re all under investigation for conspiracy to commit disturbance, extort D.O.C. employees, and to organize without authorization. The only evidence they have is one confidential informant and a piece or two of my old outgoing mail. I personally spend a total of 4 weeks with no access to telephone or envelopes. Illegal! Illegal!
October 12th: Myself and comrade Scott Elam (sid #16883095) are transported to Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton Oregon to the S.H.U. (segregated housing unit). Comrade Scotty loses 80 days off his early release on top of placement in solitary confinement. Me. I have none to loose.

Phase 2; Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI)
October 20th: I sent a heated letter to The Union Gospel Mission. At 3 N.W. 3rd Ave, Portland Oregon 97209. Because they had stolen mail I’d sent to my nephew including photographs. They never allowed my nephew to receive his mail or sent it back to me. They opened it, then destroyed it. Illegal! Illegal!
November 4th: Here’s where it gets really good! The STM (security Threat Management Lieutenant, MR. W. Powell at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Oregon pulls me out of my cell and has me chained to a wall in the S.H.H. processing area’s back office. he is waving the letter I wrote to the Union Gospel Mission at 3 N.W. 3rd Ave in Portland Oregon in my face telling me he will not let me “threaten” these “good people”. In the letter I told the Union Gospel Mission that I would sue them if they did not return my mail or compensate me for my stolen property.
Lt. W. Powell told me during this “meeting” that he has a personal grudge against me because he holds me responsible for a pig shooting an inmate and killing him at this prison in 2014 (the only thing that could be more absurd is if he accused me of actually pulling the trigger).
Next he told me that he was scouring every scrap of my mail looking for even the slightest thing that he could find to turn against me. More over, he said I cannot just write anyone I want to. But that he was only going to allow me to send one mail item per week and that he would be reading all of it looking for anything he could to hit me with. This is absolutely illegal! He then took possession of all of my envelopes.
During this entire time he made several derogatory statements about my political and religious beliefs and antagonistically declared himself a capitalist (even though he’s a wage earning government dupe who does not own a business).
Further , in the course of this “conversation” he said to me “we have nothing in common”. And I responded with “well I don’t think either of us are racist, sexist or homophobic”. and he smirked at me. Nothing more. Apparently he’s right. We have nothing in common.
After this he had me unchained from the wall and placed back in my isolation cell.
The next day he slid a misconduct report under my door for extortion, racketeering and unauthorized organization these are the worst violations anyone can get, short of staff assaults of sexual assaults. This will undoubtedly extend my time in solitary confinement. Maybe for years and will also add more “disciplinary fines” to my record.
Because of these same types of incidents, over the course of 5 years. I’ve had to pay off almost $2,000 in fines. Which they take from money my friends and family sends me, or the nickels-a-day wages I earn from working for them. I’ve never once damaged D.O.C. property for them to justify giving me fines.
So STM Lieutenant W. Powell of EOCI in Pendleton Oregon, accused me for a pig shooting and killing a young inmate in 2014. He then uses this as an excuse to openly declare to me that he has a “personal problem” with me. He effectively stopped me and will continue to stop me from seeking resolutions to legal discrepancy with another party (Illegal!). He then openly berates my own personal political and religious beliefs. Then declares himself a “capitalist” – which he knows is absolutely antithetical, therefore, antagonistic to my own beliefs. He threatens me that he will twist anything I say, that he can find against me an “hit me” with it. He then takes possession of all of my access to communication with the outside world, limiting me to a single mail item per week (illegal! Illegal!) Which he will only allow to go out if he approves of it. And to cap off this initiation of a campaign against me, he trumps up a misconduct report for extortion, racketeering, and unauthorized organization which will extend my isolation time and cost my loved ones more of their hard earned money that they bless me with. All of this. While I’m chained to a wall!
From the moment Ms. Simmelink-Rask began violating my mail at DRCI in Madras, up to now, I have not committed a single act to violate a single rule! This can be seen as nothing less than utterly outrageous!
The entire time, I’ve been writing grievances, discriminations reports, letters to superintendents, letters to the D.O.C. central Dome Building, and I hear nothing! They only amp up their aggression against me.
They want me to break. They’re used to people breaking. I swim in a sea of broken vessels and my only crime is trying to help them rebuild and nothing invokes that fear and weakness in my aggressors like the though of their victims retaining their sense of humynity. They mean to break me, but here they find something they’re confused and afraid of. They push me down. I rise with teeth bared. I will keep rising! They mean to break me, but I will see them break! My enemy is defined and I will live to see a wrecking ball crush at least one of these prisons.

Period! Till then this is the story, the pain of the struggle, and I welcome it.
If you live by the sword, you must learn to love the sting of being cut.
In the meantime, I’m looking to sue these filthy fucking hypocrites and those thieves at the Union Gospel Mission 3 NW 3rd AVE in Portland. They violated my rights to communicate with my own family and I want justice.
If there are wny willing lawyers, or registered paralegals who can call here, EOCI, to talk to me about my legal claims or any other issues we would be grateful. If a registered lawyer or paralegal calls here, they’ll put me in a private room with a private phone line to talk.
Also, if anyone out there can call EOCI and make “citizen complaints” to superintendent Jeri Taylor, and call the Oregon D.O.C. central Dome building to make complaints we would appreciate that as well.
I will accept nothing short of their unconditional surrender. If they haven’t got that message yet they will soon enough. Fucking Cowards, Onward!

Call Superintendent Jeri Taylor of EOCI at 541-278-3602

Write to Josh at

Joshua (Zero) Cartrette #12225965
Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution

2500 Westgate

Pendleton, OR 97801

Support the Oregon Prisoner Forum Newsletter Issue #3

The Oregon Prisoner Forum is written by and for prisoners in Oregon. We print and send this newsletter to over 150 prisoners throughout the state of Oregon. Our next issue is now available to read online. Our next step is moving this issue to print! To do so we need your help! We have arranged a deal with local printers to print 1000 copies of each issue of TOPF for $200. With this money we can mail in print copies of the publication to prisoners in Oregon and beyond while also making copies available to those in the community on the outside. This is essential in placing prisoners voices where they belong, in the movement!

To make this project a sustainable effort we need the communities support! We are trying to raise $1000 to cover the costs of printing for the next year, this will allow us to print 5 issues, one for the last quarter of 2016 and seasonally for all of 2017.

DONATE HERE

The Oregon Prisoner Forum has been an essential tool for prisoners throughout the state to break the shackles of isolation and alienation, to share their voices and gain empowerment. We want to familiarize our communities with the voices of those on the inside to help counter act the invisibalization of the most marginalized voices from the discourses of our social movements, those of the prisoners! Breaking the walls of isolation are one step towards prison abolition and we need your help! Please donate and support prison rebels and journalism!

Winter 2016 Issue

http://pdxabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/topf-november-2016.pdf

Noise Demo At Deer Ridge Correctional & Interview with Oregon IWOC Prisoner on the Inside.

On Saturday October 22nd. Members of the Portland Anarchist Black Cross, Portland IWOC and the Corvallis IWW joined forces to hold a noise demonstration at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras Oregon.

FULL POST-ACTION AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH IWOC MEMBER RICHARD MOLNAR, PRISONER AT DRCI BELOW…

iwoc

The demonstration was held in solidarity with IWOC prisoners at Deer Ridge who have been experiencing political repression and inhumane living conditions.

On Sept. 9th several prisoners at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI), in Madras Oregon, were placed on a preemptive lock-down to repress potential striking activity. Similarly all of the inmate kitchen workers were placed in the hole as a result of prisoner kitchen workers holding a wild cat strike.

Prisoners at DRCI are reporting that the administration is systematically employing methods which put the health and safety of inmates at risk. Inmates report that DRCI is serving under-cooked food despite being told by inmate kitchen staff that it is not ready and using unsanitary food substitutes to save money and ensure bonuses from superiors.

Prisoners also report the prison using food products marked to be unfit for human consumption and that are expired, using rotten, rancid  and moldy food along with not serving inmates full portions. Inmates report that these practices are occurring on a daily basis. 

Soon after Sept. 9th the kitchen workers and IWOC organizers were released from the hole. However, around September 19th IWOC outside supporters sent mail to Scott Elam (16883095) and Joshua Cartrette (12225965) detailing laws regulating prison food requirements. We also forwarded an email from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG)to these individuals, in the mail, detailing the next steps and information needed to begin filling a law suite on this food issue against the facility.

On September 21st Scott Elam, Joshua Cartrette and 5-12 other prisoners were placed in the hole for their advocacy for improved conditions at DRCI and educational work, the whole prison had a shake down, investigation and charges were brought against several of the prisoners advocating for changes. Prison officials began interrogating prisoners about IWOC using the names of outside supports, making copies of all mail and then transported Joshua Cartrette and Scott Elam to Eastern Oregon Correctional, a higher security prison where they would be far away from their families. They also began confiscating and not giving prisoners mail pertaining to gaining support around contesting the poor conditions there.

We believe this was a blatant attempt to cover up and hide from the public the inhumane conditions at DRCI. And that this blatant act of repression was motivated by a desire on part of prison officials to suppress prisoners from taking legal action against the facility for its poor and illegal conditions. 

Demonstrators gathered around 4pm outside of the prison walls with signs, banners, leaflets, drums and megaphones to send prisoners on the inside messages of solidarity and to contest the blaitant repression and cover-up happening behind DRCI’s walls. Upon arrival many family members who were leaving visiting time expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the presence and show of solidarity.

Leaflets were passed out and placed on vehicles decrying the prisons recent wave of repression at the hands of Warden Tim Causey.

tim-causey-copy

Protesters then began marching around the parking lot of the facility. Prisoners could be seen walking out of the visiting center, where they could see demonstrators and hear their message and then being quickly shuffled off to their dorms by guards. It was then observed that along the outside doors of the dorms rooms of the prison, officials began posting guards at each entrance.

At this point a prison guard became confrontational and began yelling at protestors that they were putting correctional officers and prisoners in danger by broadcasting their message. Protestors responded by informing him and other prison officials that it was the rotten moldy food being served and the blatant acts of illegal political repression that were putting people in danger. The guard responded by stealing a megaphone from a participant.

img_0735

Demonstrators carried onwards for about 15 minutes before leaving the facility around 5pm feeling powerful and sure that their message was received.

The next day on Sunday October 23rd. IWOC organizers along with KBOO community radio conducted an interview with Richard Molnar. A prisoner at DRCI and IWOC member. The full interview can be found below. Richard reports that prison officials are serving rancid meet on a regular basis, serving moldy hot dogs and often times giving prisoners no other options. He reports that while being interrogated about IWOC he was able to ascertain that prisons across the state have been given orders from the state capital to begin investigating any prisoner who receives union materials. Richard gives anin depth report back on the situation ad Deer Ridge and some of the difficulty facing those on the inside fighting for change.

FULL INTERVIEW WITH IWOC MEMBER RICHARD MOLNAR, PRISONER AT DRCI

Notes on Repression, Torture Survival and Revolution at Deer Ridge Correctional

What’s up my friends? Well, it must’ve been a while now since you’ve heard from me.  Apparently they’ve been confiscating my paper mail since even before Sept. 9th. I had written several supporters some nice incriminating letters. To be honest. I half expected them to be pilfering my mail. It was that and the combination of a snitch. Those things together is what fucked me. I don’t understand why anyone could possibly want to inform on what we’re trying to do here at DRCI. It makes no fuckin sense. Fuckin stockholm syndrome! Well, here’s a copy of my Misconduct report. It’s surprisingly accurate.

http://pdxabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Josh-Charges.pdf

I’ve been in the hole now for just about 2 weeks, and they only just now gave me a pen. This in itself is a sign of how much more they fear us when we stop fighting with our fists and start fighting with our truths.

I’ll be getting shipped out to a max facility (Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution) in the next couple of days where I’ll stick out what will undoubtedly be a very long time in solitary confinement. Last time all this happened I did 18 months, which after organizing a packet/program strike in the SHU, turned into 24 months. So… I don’t know what their decision is going to be this time.

On a good note, other than their informant, they got no other snitches or any tangible evidence that anything was actually going on. All they have is stuff in my own writing and one informer.

Initially, they gestapo’d 5 people on the first night when they arrested me as well. 5 people from between three different cell-blocks. Then the second day a few more people came down. Each in our own isolation cell. But we could yell back and forth to each other. We sat for about four days with no word as to what was going on, and then they started pulling us all out one-by-one for interrogations.

The only thing they really had on anyone was me and one other person and even the other person wasn’t near as implicit as I was, so over the course of the interrogations and so, since I was already decidedly fucked, we were able to get a few people off the hook completely. And then three others just got unauthorized organization in the third degree and they’ll be getting out of the hold tomorrow. One other guy got an unauthorized organization in the first degree and he’ll be doing at least a few months at whatever maximum facility they send him to, and myself. I got found guilty of unauthorized ORG in the first, and “Disturbance” (Conspiracy), so I’ll be doing probably six months in a max, and then the committee will decide whether or not I get extended into long-term. for about 2 1/2 years– And for the same shit– it’s pretty likely I’ll go back. But we’ll see.

To be honest, I’m a bit upset over this whole affair. This particular prison is relatively close to my family, and in the few months I’ve been here. Got to see my daughter a few times, my sister, my mom and step Dad. Anywhere else in the state is just too far for them. I knew this was bound to happen at some point, and ultimately my purpose inside these walls is not to be complacent and comfortable. But to go where the work is. But still, it happens when you least expect it and it’s never a good feeling to be hauled out of bed in the middle of the night, cuffed, and without a word tossed into a cold cell. A different cold cell, I guess.

But let’s not dwell! I’m onto new pastures. I’m excited about this move. As it affords me new opportunities to meet new people. This will be my fourth institution in two years. As you know. Seeds don’t spread unless you move em about.

This prison (DRCI) is soft and weak, full of people drawn complacent by all the incentives. Pluss it’s a minimum camp, so everyone is fixed on going home. People just want to keep their heads down and get through it. Where I’ll be going next will be full of those of my peers feeling the full brunt of their situation. I feel like I’ll be more comfortable in the company of others who’ve already been stripped of anything the may’ve had to lose. Without the enticement of “incentives” and pats on the head to pull them along. The conversation is always better when we’re yelling at each other under the cracks in our cell doors or through the ventilation systems. Down there we have no agendas or pretenses. Only our rawer selves.

Thinking about solitary confinement now, prison in general and society for that matter, I’m thinking about the intent of these places. And it becomes clear that beneath the veneer of justice and righteousness and the pathetic adage of this being a “necessary Evil” to control human beings who, otherwise (we’re told to believe) would open up the gates of hell on all of humankind, lies something much more sinister’ it is a design. It is a complex arrangement of various but systematic abuses. Physical , psychological, emotional, spiritual, torture. The various mechanisms they apply always with force. Covert violence, with the intent to nullify our senses. I don’t mean our physical senses. But those are collaterally ripped apart as well, I mean to nullify our senses of self-worth, faith in humanity, faith in ourselves, self-determination, self-love. Systematic incarceration has been developed, over time, meticulously, as an apparatus geared toward, specifically, the nullification and pacification of the last of the free-thinkers in our world. Those who’ve somehow escaped the void of broad based brainwashing networks, prescription mind control poison, lifeless pop-culture, and the lie we call the American Dream which has us ridden with stress, anxiety, depression and a creeping sense of hopelessness as we compulsively chase each other’s money around in mindless circles, who’ve never been enchanted with the promise of more “stuff” or social “status”, we come HERE. To be nullified HERE. Pacified HERE. And for those who don’t take the hint, we go deeper into the bowels of HERE, where suicide and the creeping grip of insanity are commonplace. The magical, wondrous, mesmerizing world of solitary confinement. I could sit here, in my little cold, dark cracker box and write you, trying to paint you pictures of both the horrors and the wonders that you will experience with months-or better, years!- of living by yourself in a cold hard bathroom 24/7. But frankly, you wouldn’t understand. It’s like trying to describe an acid trip or some particularly abstract dream. You just had to have been there.

Its effects different people differently, of course. Like I said, suicides are semi-regular occurrences. you can usually see those coming as you’ll notice a steady deterioration in the person’s resolve. They stop taking showers, stop cleaning their cell, their trays come out still full of food. but the ones who just lose their minds, it’s usually a surprise. You might notice a small crack in their armor before the whole thing gives way, but it’s usually pretty sudden. they’ll be holding some usual conversation, yelling under their door and talking normally on Tuesday, on Wednesday they’re getting pulled out of their cell covered in their own feces screaming about gas coming out of their vent or microchips in their body.

Most people fall into patterns of escapism. I knew one guy who used to spend 3 or 4 hours every day cleaning his toilet/sink. The cleanest toilet in the Oregon D.O.C., and then he’d exercise. Burpies, windmills, pushups, situps, burpies, windmills, pushups, sit ups, for another 3 or 4 hours. Others like to spend the better part of their day with their faces jammed into cracks of their doors. you yell your side of a conversation, then turn a jam your ear to the crack to listen to the response. yell, turn, listen, turn, yell. You get anywhere from 5 to 10 conversations going at once. Other people playing chess or battle-ship trying to scream numbers over the noise.

And then there’s folks like myself, the noise, just a distant cacophony, we brood and think, and read, and write and brood some more. I knew a guy who drew little dots at points in his cell and would often sit and just stare at those dots for hours. I guess that was his own escape maybe. Who knows what goes on inside someone else’s mind. At the end of the day, we are each our own drifting vessel.

As for myself, I suppose I’m rare in that I reject escapism. I had come to a point several years ago where I’d decided that our tendency to seek refuge from reality has only served more to compound the adverse aspects of reality in the first place. It’s willful ignorance to our own complicity in that which distracts you from the signs of cancer showing up in your phlegm. Life is too short to indulge in distractions, even when the truth itself is much more painful. Life is too short, and I’ve already been robbed of enough of mine. When you look at things from this angle you may actually come to appreciate the miseries that life so enthusiastically hurls at us. Me, I’m actually aware of my pain. And i refuse to give it up for anything.

Now, I know this sounds like a dark take on things, but if you really think about it, you’ll see it’s actually the sole product of hope and optimism. If I had no hope in changing things, I would see no point in involving myself with them. I believe change is possible, and I believe in our ability to realize change. But it will never happen unless we acquaint ourselves with those things that need changing. To me, this is what it means to be a revolutionary. You welcome the misery, and then you destroy it.

Solitary confinement isn’t such a terrible thing for me. It’s too late for all that. It’s like worrying about where to flick your cigarette ashes as you walk around the husk of your old burned down house. I’ve got years of this shit already under my belt. Any damage that could be done, has been done. Now I’m just picking my way through the debris looking for anything which might be salvaged. What’s a few more ashes on the ground? Or a couple more years?

Here’s what I can say though, while I’m on the subject. One thing one can count on absolutely, is that you will lose parts of yourself down here. And those parts are irretrievable. Maybe not just in a matter of months, but enter into four, five, six months and things inside you begin to malform. A Lot of us hide it well. Even from ourselves. But there are specific brands of neurosis/psychosis reserved for folks who’ve done any real length of isolation time. If you were to place me in a room with a hundred people, I’m sure I could pick out the ones who’ve done long-term isolation sets. Me, I see it. I know it. I have an intimate relationship with these insanities.

As for me, for now, I can take heart. Wintertime is coming. And I don’t care much for being outside in the winter anyways. Like I said, for me, isolation isn’t so bad. I tend to use my solitude productively, and at some point maybe with all my reading and writing and thinking and brooding, I’ll either stumble upon the answer we’ve all be looking for, or I’ll end up packing my brain so full of smart stuff that my fucking head will explode and unleash a great rainbow of knowledge over the earth for all to marvel and cheer at. Don’t bet on that. But at the same time, experience has taught me to never rule anything out.

Here I feel like I need to clarify something I said earlier– and this will likely spin me into new directions, but bare with me. I mentioned how incarceration systems are so meticulously designed to crush the hopes and will and confidence, etc, of the individuals it swallows. How it’s complex arrangements are geared toward nullifying the senses of self, toward pacifying the will to determination.

All of what I said is true. But I want to be clear that this fact does not get passed as a claim for it’s intent to achieve conformity in the individual. It’s designed to pacify us, yes. To nullify us, to make us broken and malleable to whatever agenda it’s built around. But to be clear, this agenda is not one of reforming its subjects into upright wholesome productive members of society.

If that were the case, there would at least be some semblance of a rationalization to this entire mess. As it stands though, there is no rationalization at all beyond the sensationalist depiction of “bad guys” needing to be locked up where they can’t continue being bad. This is obviously a short-sighted over-simplification of a theory which, when we look at it, holds no substance at all.

This is further proved, when we take a closer inspection of the methods employed to keep these places functioning. For example, any episode of cops will show you the frustration and anger that one can go through upon being kidnapped, stuffed into a car, and packed into a cage. The pigs look on with detached arrogance and make little antagonistic comments. when the person reacts at their level they continually escalate the situation until they have the person strapped down to a Hannibal Lecter chair.

I spoke of the use of force, and covert violence, which are the foundation of all tactics and measures they employ. These various types of thumbscrews are manifested in several and sometimes very subtle ways– or not, so subtle– but all with the mechanics available to twist them down on you to whatever extent necessary to draw you to your knees. To nullify you, to pacify you.

Or… As they scream in your face as one is literally on top of you with his knee in your spine. Crushing the wind our of you and grinding your face into the cold grey concrete floor, while another had your arm locked and twisted up behind you so tight it feels about to break a the elbow, then the shoulder, and one or two more are twisting your ankles together and folding you in half in ways your body isn’t meant to fold “STOP RESISTING!”. A small sample of how far this agency is willing to go to continue in its existence. And even you don’t know if your own screams are from the pain, the anger of is it simply your cursed soul escaping this mass of biological compost that was once you? You don’t know.

What you know is, if you beg , and if you cry, and if you remain passive while they beat you, twist you, and choke you, eventually it will stop. All you have to do is be nullified, be pacified, stop resisting and let them have their way with you.

The same is with the cold-cell I reside in as I write this. There is nothing on this planet I hate more than being cold. I’d almost rather them take me down to the processing room for a good ol’ four-on-one cage match, like the one I just described. But no luck! My point is, It’s the same thing. Just more subtle. More sinister. If I comply, If I pacify, if I “stop resisting”, and if I beg, and if I go to my knees, eventually, it will end. It’s the same ballroom, but the dance is a little more complex these days.

And so the question then is, are these methods designed to break one’s spirit and pacify them? The only answer can be yes.

Are they designed to produce pro-social habits and tendencies in the subject? the only answer can be no.

Is this a blazing contradiction of purpose? The only answer can be yes. In its totality, what we have here is an apparatus designed to simultaneously break a person’s spirit and to create further social dysfunctionality within them.

And so from here, I suppose, we should probably ask what the whole fucking thing is built to do then.

And what is the relation between the methodology of the incarceration system, and the fact that these people are so compelled to build more and more prisons with upgraded state-of-the-art, prison technology? What in the fuck is actually going on here?! Andy why in the fuck is my cell so god damn cold!?

But these are just different questions to the answers we already have. And in the face of everything we have to consider, the answer, so pathetic as it is, seems too ridiculous to even be taken seriously.

It’s all about money. From the bottom to the top. This pig outside my door, he didn’t come out of the womb destined to be an agent of violence and brutality. He could’ve just as easily been a gardener, or a fucking circus clown. But he was compelled by money and power commensurate with his station in life and promises in equal or greater measure to his pathetic level of ambition, to be a pig.

The same is said for the architects and designers who plan and build these shit holes. Money and Power, commensurate with their station, and equal to their measure of ambition.

In closing, it must be said that in regards to the types of abuse meted out by these swine, I came to a point years ago where I refuse to be antagonized into direct physical conflict with them. I’ve been beaten, taxed, doused in OC spray, show with pepper spray paintball guns, show with beanbags,

electrocuted with shock-shields and I’ve witnessed murders carried out by these scumbags in the name of justice. Being led into these types of resistance exactly what they want. It justifies , not only their use of direct force, but their claim to the existence of this system in it’s entirety. On such a battlefield, we have no possibility of success, and in fact only serve their interests.

In lashing out on this level, we’re only looking at the symptoms of the illness, not the illness itself. The cold-cell, the violence, the slave labor, these are only symptoms, you can address a symptom. But it, in itself, goes nowhere toward overcoming the actual illness.

So, while I will never engage them in their own game again, one thing I will never do is let them pacify me, nullify me and break me down. I will never “stop resisting”. And where so many break and cower and wilt under the pain and misery, the loneliness, the despair, the depression, loss, confusion, anger and on and on, I will welcome it, remained acutely aware of those things, so that I can do my part to destroy it at it’s source. I’ll settle in again for the long game and use those things to warm me as I set my pawns against their kings. There’s really only everything to gain from here, and nothing at all left to lose.

“When you live by the sword. You must learn to love the sting of being cut”

ONWARDS

ZERO

Please send Josh “Zero”, books and letters to help him in his stint in solitary. He’s asking for books on sociology, history, economics, business, war, astronomy, just no fiction.

Joshua “Zero” Cartrette SID #12225965 

Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution

2500 Westgate

Pendleton, OR 97801

josh

Greek Prisoners Join US Prison Strike!

“From the prison of Korydallos in Greece, we the prisoners of the fins c, d, a, respond to the day of action around the world in solidarity with the prisoners of usa. Today we will not let the guards lock us up, in an action of solidarity.
Across America prisons are in a huge struggle against slavery. In this fight we join our voices. Nationality religion or any other differences will never be an obstacle to becoming a punch against the powers that keep us imprisoned. You are prisoners and we are prisoners and we can only wish you and contribute to your victory. It will be a victory for dignity for all the prisoners around the world.”

imag0127

International call for a concerted solidarity campaign for the struggle of us prisoners on 1 October

Hello comrades!
This is a call for a concerted solidarity campaign for the struggle of us prisoners on 1 October
In solidarity
Abc-solidarity cell ( Athens,Greece)

Prisons in the usa – The dark side of slavery in American society

In order to be in the position to understand the importance and necessity of the us prisoners’ struggle, we first need to analyze the role of slavery in the foundation and evolution of the american state and its historical and integral ,until today, link with the capital.
Slavery in its many forms was actually the foundation on which the omnipotence of american overlordship was gradually built. The root of this phenomenon can be traced back in the era when the christian empires of europe started a race to conquest unknown lands, founding colonialism regimes, in the era of brutal genocides of the indigenous populations and the slave trade of the non-white african population.
Since then and until today, the social and political circumstances have rapidly changed, mainly because of a heavy blood tax that has been paid from beneath, towards the direction of the total shaking off of slavery as an institution. However, it continues up until today, more or less covered.
Today’s  prisoners’ class and racial composition, the spreading of private prisons, the institutionalization of enforced labor as a form of criminal sanction, the exploitation of prisoners by big companies highlight the fundamental connection between state-capitalism-slavery and prison.

Slavery in the first colonial systems
During the first years of the “new world’s” colonization and until the early 18th century, most of the settlers were not free but were under a status of an idiotype slavery, known as “indentured servitude”, which aimed in equipping the colonies with cheap workforce. The “indentured servant” signed a contract according to which she/he was mortgaging her/his freedom and provide her/his work to a master for a period between 5 to 7 years and, in exchange, the latter covered her/his transportation expenses to the colony. In practice, it was happening by the signature of the contract between the “indentured servant” and the ship owner and the subsequent transferring of the contract to the new master, as soon as the ship arrived to the “new world”. The institution was initially introduced in 1619 through Virginia Company. It has been calculated that 80% of the refugees in the american colonies before american revolution were under this status, while only 40% managed to survive.
“Interventured servants” consisted of three categories : 1) poor immigrants seeking for a better life in the colonies 2)immigrants forced to leave their country because of religious prosecutions or other reasons 3) convicts. It constisted of both white and non-white population. More specifically, in the plantations of the south, the institution favored the further expansion of the land ownership, since it got connected to the headright system. Headright was the right of every coloner in about 4 acres of land. The big landowners managed to expand the landownership since they were both subzitized with the 4 acres for every worker they brought in through the “interventured servitude” system and took profit on the workforce of the  “interventured servant” that had in their ownership.

So, although slaves existed in the english colonies already since 1600, this constitution was preferred among plantation owners. But, when the “interventured servants” started to gradually regain their freedom somewhere in the middle of the 17th century, the land they were given was of bad quality and under the danger of indigenous raids, soon resulting in the creation of a poor and unsatisfied social layer, whose existence annoyed the bag landowners who later manned their plantations with permanent slaves.
Moreover, although European “indentured servants” were already under a status of transient slavery compared to the permanent slaves, many of them acted together with non white, african and american indigenous slaves in order to escape, resist to their masters or organize uprisals. The ruling class was displeased by this alliaance and answered with a tactic of separation between the white and the non white population, like happened, for example, in Virginia with the voting of Virginia Slave Codes in 1705. In an case, already during the 18th century, europeans willing to travel to the american continent under the status of “interventured servitude” had considerably decreased, especially after the disclosure of the conditions in the plantations. The ruling class, on the other hand, within the tactic of separation had started to grant privileges and lighter work to the white” inteventured servants” compared with the non-white, african and american indigenous slaves. In this way, the alliance between whites of all layers and racial discrimination gradually started to form a structure. The “interventured servitude” system was abolished after the civil war through the 13th amendment of american constitution in 1865.

First prisons and enforced labor until the end of the civil war

Imprisonment as a form of criminal sanction was established in america a little before the american revolution of 1765. The first period, during which imprisonment was massively used as a means to deal with offenders, the “mentally ill” and the poor, can be found in the early 1800, in the jackson era. During this period, imprisonment and enforced labor constituted the main sanctions for most crimes until the civil war. In the south, however, were slavery was widespread, imprisonment didn’t have much to offer to the sustainment of order, since slaves were in the mercy of their masters. Despite this fact, imprisonment of white people took place in some parts of the south.
The first occasion of enforced labor of prisoners in favor of private companies and of the state is found in 1820 in the prison Auborn in New York. The constitution quickly expanded to the north and, later, to the west. In 1825 in Kentucky, joel scott paid 1000 dollars in order to use the prisoners of the local prison as a work labor in construction projects. After that, he proceeded in building his own private prison to house them. Deals like this can be found in 1844 in Louisiana and in 1852 in California. Despite the above, the main exploitation of prisoners as a work labor and the evolution of the conception around the utilization of the excluded populations will take place after the end of the civil war.

The inclusion of enforced labor in the criminal system (convict leasing)

After the end of the American civil war (1861-1865), capitalism will dominate in the usa and will gradually highlight it into the superpower that is today. Between  1865-1920, corporate interests were served in all government levels. Governments obeyed almost completely to the big companies. In many occasions, industrial corporations were the ones to set the value of their own property for tax reasons, instead of tax inspectors. Private and public sectors were, in a great degree, undividable, for example, in 1880 the owner of the biggest bank in Montana was at the same time its governor.  Capitalistic development, however, did not follow a straight line. Since the middle of the 1870s until the middle of the 1890s (a period named the “great depression”), economy wobbles from massive bankrupts, inflation and the merciless competition between the companies for the reduction of labor costs. Within this framework, the utilization of prisoners as a workforce constituted an ideal solution and the institution of “convict leasing” was spread in both the south and the north and the 2/3 of prisoners were assigned to private companies. Companies signed contracts with the state that the workforce would be replaced in case a prisoner got ill or was considered as unsuitable.
The explosive development of the industry and economy was, in a big degree, connected with the specific configuration of the criminal system. The need for cheap labor force leaded to massive criminalization of behaviors and massive arrests. People were sent to prison for insignificant excuses, like gambling and consuming alcohol. While capitalism was gradually evoluting towards its monopolistic form (which will reach after 1890) prisoners started to be assigned only to the most powerful corporations of every state.
The institutionalization of slavery as a criminal sanction through the 13th amendment of the us constitution served as the legal base for the institution. In the south, convict-lease system was spread everywhere and constituted the new way of utilization and disciplination of the recently libareted slaves who were now under a status of discrimination, imposed on them through jim crow’s laws, under the ideological construct of white supremacy. In the prisons of the south after 1985, 90% of the prisoners were non-white. Prisoners were assigned to the mines, to railway companies and to the iron and steel industry. All the extractive companies of the south, as well as the agricultural economy of cotton and sugar,  was based on the prisoners’ labor. In the north, there was also a close cooperation between the industries, commercial and agricultural companies and all of the order enforcement authorities as well as the judicial system. Sheriffs, local magistrates, policemen, judges and governors were all working together for the systems’ conservation.  Labor unions, syndicates and labor parties reacted to the institution, initially as far as the utilization of prisoners as specialized workforce was concerned, because it was against their interests.
Prison labor was also utilized as a counterweight against the workers’ effort to organize. Companies, in cases of strikes and claimings, could replace their workforce with prisoners who worked under harsh and lethal conditions. This way, a lot of mine strikes were broken.
But, in 1890, during a mine strike, TC&I company tried to use prisoners in order to break the strike. Strikers and their allies, friendly towards the workers’ movement “the knights of labor” started guerilla war with attacks to the prison’s fence and liberated prisoners. They after denied to obey to the governor’s order to return them back and armed conflicts followed. Since 1890, uprisals and prisoners’ strikes started to happen more and more often, especially in the north, where an important percentage of prisoners were veterans of the American civil war, but also, ex- workers.

The development of the prison-industrial complex

Since the 70s and until today, prisons continued to constitute a privileged field of profit and repression in the usa, while, at the same time, through the the prison-industrial complex, we are passing into new forms of social control and surveillance. The interaction and cooperation in the prison system between industry and private prisons, construction companies, prison supply companies, companies exploiting the enforced labor of the prisoners and of the political conservation in general, is conceived by this term.
This way, american state’s propaganda for the social legalization of the army-industrial complex, making huge profit during the cold war, was gradually replaced by the prison-industrial complex, this time, using the excuse of the “war on drugs”.
During the 60s, 70s and 80s, CIA, after secretly getting involved in the drug trade taking place in vietnam and nicaragua, channeled large quantities into the poor neighborhoods of people of color. During the 70s, a lot of companies got transferred out of the usa seeking cheaper workforce resulting in a rise of the unemployment in the poor neighborhoods and a big part of the non-specified unemployed turning to thefts and drug dealing. This phenomenon, offered the suitable political excuse in order for reagan to start, in the middle of the 80s, the campaign of “war on drugs”. A big wave of arrests of non-white people followed this tightening of the legal armory, leading to the overpopulation of prisons. While the expenses for the maintenance and building of new prisons overcame the abilities of the state’s budget, private prisons constituted an advantageous solution, not only for the state but, for the capital as well. In 1984, investors in Tennesee, having connections in the government, structured Corrections Corporations of America (CCA). The idea was to fοund private prisons and rend the bed to the government. The utilization of private prison reached its peak in the 90s during clinton’s presidency, when private prison companies took on the imprisonment of refugees without a residence permits and prisoners of “high risk”. In 2000, private prisons’ industry donated 1,2 millions to 830 candidates. Today, the largest of private prisons’ companies are CCA and GEO Group (ex Wackenhut), while the percentage of inmates in them in 2013 was calculated to be the 8% of the total population of prisoners in the usa.
Together with the institution of private prisons, prisoners’ enforced labor, based -as referred above- on the 13th amendment, is still a field of profit and management of the excluded populations.
Prisoners work without syndicate rights, days off or alliances, under miserable conditions. Their denial to work has as a consequence disciplinary punishments and privilege deprivations. The last 30 years more than 37 states allow private companies to use prisoners with the symbolic payment of between 0,93 and 4,73 dollars a day. Companies exploiting the work of prisoners are, among others, IBM, Boeing, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Nothern Telecom, TWA, Nordstorm’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, Starbucks and Honda.

Prisoners’ struggles – Resistance finds its ways and spaces to be manifested

As expected, the asphyxiating status of enforced labor as part of the penalty, this disguised form of modern slavery, compresses and crushes the prisoners so much that, little by little, the seed of resistance is being born, a seed growing on anger and desperation. Since quite some time, a series of fermentations inside the American hellhole, which are actually slave galleys, has led to the planning of a concerted struggle inside prisons, targeting towards the definitive abolition of this brutality which euphemistically calls itself “social contribution”. Despite the great difficulties in the communication among prisoners, the thirst for fighting managed to overcome all obstacles so to finally the struggle plan to be communicated in such a degree, that we can maybe be talking about one of the biggest concerted fighting campaigns form the prisoners themselves.
The starting point of such a struggle has been set by the commissions of prisoners themselves on 9/9/16, a date-symbol for the struggles of us prisoners since, 45 years ago, on September 9 1971, the uprisal in the Attica prison of New York took place which constituted the biggest and most dramatic prison uprisal in the usa history. The basic occasion was the murder of the inmate George Jackson from the Black Panthers by the jailers.
As Anarchist Black Cross, we consider that the peak of this struggle has a special importance, since it constitutes a collective scream of dignity form the inside of the modern hellholes of a state that has made imprisonment into a science, being a model and example for every ambitious totalitarian state.
The status of slavery in prisons is the epitome of brutality inside imprisonment conditions since it abolishes the individual status of every person and targets towards her/his total submission between the gears of multinational leviathans.
As anarchists, we cannot whistle with indifference in front of a struggle orienting from the damned of the social margin, being under an idiotype status of slavery and still claiming, even under the adverse conditions of imprisonment, a breath of dignity and self-determination.
The inmates will conduct their struggle by actually denying the procedure of enforced labor, carrying out an abstention of their predicted duties, actually a kind of strike from inside the prison, which is being punished with disciplinary punishments and isolation. A struggle in the root of which there is political disobedience and sabotaging to corporate interests which have identified themselves with the most ruthless forms of exploitation.
The prisoners have outwardly addressed a call for the support of their fight from whoever feels that this struggle has anything to do with her/him and finds a piece of herself/himself inside it.
Inside this framework, as Anarchist Black Cross-solidarity cell we had conducted an event and notification on 4/8 in the squat Themistocleous 58, together with comrades from the translating network of antireport Contra Info, during which, a comrade from Anarchist Black Cross of Portland had extensively spoken on these issues aiming to the notification of the domestic anarchist movement for the struggle that would follow from 9/9.
We are willing to manifest our solidarity to the inmates of us prisons by any means and for all the duration of their struggle. Towards this direction, we are calling all the collectives, all the Anarchist Black Cross cells internationally but also anyone wishing to support in her/his way, to concert our powers in an International Day of Solidarity which can be a point of reference for the international solidarity movement for that struggle and will constitute an occasion for further sharpening of our later actions. We propose that day to be the 1st of October.
We consider that the perspectives, the at-stake-issues, and the stockpile that this specific struggle can leave behind, constitute an open challenge for every fighter wanting to contribute to the conduct of an internationalized and concerted struggle inside and out of prisons, against the modern slavery and the economical dictatorship of multinational companies.
Solidarity and Strength to the struggle of the inmates in the us prisons!
Struggle is the only perspective in order to live with dignity!
Fire to the prisons!

Anarchist Black Cross- solidarity cell

Interview with Portland ABC, BLM & IWOC on Sept. 9th Moving Forward

Adam Carpinelli interviewed  national, local and regional organizers from groups like Black Lives Matters, Anarchist Black Cross and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee about organizing for the September 9, 2016 call for a national prisoner strike. Organizers will discuss several national actions as well as updates about current prisons on lockdown or with prisoners continuing to strike.

Listen here

 

Call in to Support Oregon Prisoner Workers!

social media event here

On Sept. 9th several prisoners at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) in Madras Oregon were placed on a Preemptive lock-down to repress potential striking activity. Similarly all of the inmate kitchen workers were placed in the hole.

Prisoners at DRCI are reporting that the administrations Food Service Coordinators are systematically employing methods which put the health and safety of inmates at risk. Inmates report that DRCI is serving under-cooked food despite being told by inmate kitchen taff that it is not ready and using unsanitary food substitutes to save money and ensure bonuses from superiors. Inmates also report the prison using food products marked to be unfit for human consumption and that …are expired, using rotten and moldy food along with not serving inmates full portions. Inmates report that these practices are occurring on a daily basis.

Prisoners are asking supporters to call into the prison to demand that they meet Oregon State law standards for healthy and safe prison food, serve inmates adequate portions, stop serving moldy/rotten and expired food.

Supporters are asked to call the below individuals. If they don’t answer please leave a message.

Superintendent Tim Causey @ 541-325-5999 Ext. 5226
&
Health Services Manager Becky Carter @ 541-325-5999 Ext. 5145

Sample Script
“Hello my name is ____
I am calling in solidarity with prisoners at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution to demand that DRCI staff stop serving inmates inadequate portions of food, under cooked food, rotten/moldy food, food that is marked expired and therefore, unfit for human consumption. We ask that DRCI staff comply with Oregon State law 169.076 that details food served to inmates must be “procured, stored, prepared, distributed and served under sanitary conditions, as defined by the authority under ORS 624.041 (Rules) and that inmates “will be fed nutritionally adequate meals in accordance with a plan reviewed by a registered dietitian or the Oregon Health Authority.”