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May 10, 2008

Loyal readers of 4strugglemag will know that in the past year we have faced some challenges in financing our production and distribution. This is in part due to the success of this project – we’ve got more subscribers than ever across Canada and the United States, and we remain committed to sending free copies to prisoners.. We appreciate your patience as we work to find ways to put out new issues as often as possible.

We thank our comrades Jill and Dave of Vancouver’s Anti-Poverty Committee for their generosity and hard work in printing and distributing Issue 10, and we thank our friends in DC for taking responsibility for the current issue. Moving forward, we will continue to rely on others in our community to support 4strugglemag. We are also planning a subscription drive that will encourage outside activists to help us keep sending free copies to prisoners.

We’ll keep working to improve the magazine: the level of analysis, the focus on topics that will propel social justice forward, and the opportunities for dialogue across movements, across generations and across prison walls.

For that reason, we’re introducing a letters section to this issue, starting with one that we’ve had for a while now, and a newer one. We can’t print all of the letters that we get (and we may edit for length and clarity), and we certainly hope that you’ll keep sending us articles, poetry, artwork and more. This is just one more way of giving our readers a voice.

Sara Falconer and karen emily

Revolutionary greetings

Dear 4strugglemag laborers,

I just got my eager hands on Issue 5 and Issue 8 of your mag only after engaging my PPC Brothers in a conversation about the plight and suffering of (mis-educated) juveniles serving life without parole (LWOP) and other harsh sentences in Amerika’s koncentration kamps improperly termed prisons.

Thereafter they strongly encouraged me to reach out to you in hopes of joining us in highlighting the inhumanity and inequities of LWOP for child offenders, and other unduly harmful sentences given to you-ths. We believe the national attention would be the impetus to help wake up and mobilize the locals to Amerikan neo-racism, class elitism and gender bias – as it relates to youths, mainly youths of color, more specifically New Afrikan (Black) males, and unjust sentences not only here in Michigan but other states within the U.$. Empire, which imposes such unredemptive sentences on child(ren) offenders.

But first, I had never read your e-magazine until April 4, 2007. This is after the previously mentioned conversation. Then one of the PPC Brothers said, “I got something right for you.” It turned out to be two issues of 4strugglemag. After reading everything, I overwhelmingly thanked him. He responded, “I got a few more where that came from.” Now that I’m aware of your existence, I’d like to say THANK YOU for putting out such functional, right know-ledge. The New Afrikan experience in Amerika has been cornered off into a few places, due to the insidious nature of the poison of white supremacy, racism and its allied (mass) media cohorts, but the ones who contribute to and live for the cause and struggle stand strong in their beliefs and convictions and I admire all of you for giving so much of yourselves tro helping others find themselves and their humanity.

I hope all of you remain strong, safe and continue striving to spread social-political consciousness to those who are socially engineered and asleep on their feet, from the negative ill-effects of imperialism, colonialism, fascism, sexism, monopoly kapitalism and white supremacy racism, to mention but a few.

Having said that I formally request to be placed on your mailing list to receive future issues of 4strugglemag. I also have two important recommendations that I would like to suggest for print within 4strugglemag.

1. Because of new readers like myself, would you please define such ideologies as colonialism, fascism, imperialism, sexism and white supremacy racism (in historical and contemporary terms)?

2. Can you designate a page solely for the purpose of recommending a list of books – for reading and studying?

In order to build a mass (people) movement that enable us tot checkmate and/or eliminate the negative “isms” and create a world predicated on Ma’at and Nguzo Saba we have to build human beings by providing them with a proper education or functional knowledge that moves the peoples minds – into the direction of unity, solidarity, supreme organization and sacred love – and away from their polar opposites, if you will.

Each One Teach One

Like Brother Akili, I too have noticed a central theme common among many PPCs, PPs and POWs and their organizations. Very few of these mags have addressed and diagnosed the impact of imperialism, monopoly kapitalism and white supremacy racism on the psyches and minds of youths in concrete terms, and once internalized (consciously or subconsciously) what are the characteristics or symptoms? And what role does this play in them being targeted by the imperialists and extreme kapitalists for prison incarceration and expansionism? How does anti-depressant medication of the youth play into all of this? I’ve never seen so many young persons on anti-psychotic drugs, etc., on which they depend as thought it was a mother’s breast or a baby’s bottle. It is really disheartening and disturbing.

Anyhow, when I read: Welcome to 4strugglemag, the second paragraph I knew that I had to touch base with you at some point in time, and encourage you to obtain a copy of Human Rights Watch’s report entitled “The Rest of Their Lives: Life Without Parole for Child Offenders in the U.S.,” and urge you to seriously consider running a series of articles centered around this report.

My PPC Brother said, “PPC (juvenile lifers) are like the forgotten voice in the struggle.” I’m hoping this letter will be the beginning by which we change this. What 4strugglemag will lend will lend its hand, arm and voice in expressing its oppositional position to LWOP sentences (etc.) on child offenders, in direct violation of Articles 34 and 40 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

I look forward to your revolutionary response.

All power to the poor and oppressed
Free all PPs and POWs
Abolish the death penalty and JLWOP
End SHUs
Down with imperialism, sexism and racism
Ona Move

Love and Struggle,


Herbert Lee Allen #188620
Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility
1576 Bluewater Highway
Ionia, MI 48846 USA

Note: Ma’at is an ancient Afrikan concept defining the unifying principles of harmony (or balance) by which ALL creation is ordered, and Nguzo Saba are the seven principles of Kwanza (or Communalism).

Pamoja Tutashinde!
(Together we will win!)

[Note from 4struggle: We will run excerpts from the Human Rights Watch report on LWOP for child offenders in Issue 12, and will also work towards building the definitions of terms and book recommendations that Sankofa requested. We hope that readers will contribute to these discussions!]

rashid - cartoon.jpg

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