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PLN Reader Sends ACLU Finger

Recently the PLN received a letter from Kataza Taifa, imprisoned at the Westville Control Unit in Indiana. It included a copy of the following letter he has sent to the Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union: "Dear ACLU Board Members, Since for what I understand to be financial reasons, you couldn't/wouldn't help expose our inhuman treatment through court proceedings. I felt if the ACLU, after acknowledging some violations here, was just based on money values. I felt we here owed you some money for three trips in 1991. Since I/we have no finances to pay the ACLU I'm giving you something much more precious. Indigent human beings shouldn't have to suffer due to [a] lack of funds.... "How much is your price on decency? "How much is your price on humanity?

In case you have forgotten, we are human too! If we have violated your Amerikan standards then we should be immediately executed, not tortured and treated like laboratory rats. We are human too!

"Our struggle is in consciousness, theirs is in separating." Enclosed with the above letter was an Indiana DOC mail rejection form stating they had confiscated from Kataza's legal mail to the ACLU a "fingertip of Mr. Taifa's left hand, fifth finger" and this was "contraband or prohibited property."

Prisoners at the Westville Control Unit have been waging an intense struggle against the inhuman treatment they are receiving, this has included a 37-day hunger strike, hundreds of grievances, letters. etc., to protest beatings, being sprayed with chemicals, held without exercise for days in freezing temperatures, and so on

While PLN supports the struggle of prisoners for improved conditions, we do not believe that self-mutilation accomplishes anything. For years Korean militants have cut off their fingers to paint their slogans on walls with severed fingers, yet the capitalist dictatorship is still in power there. Body parts are best left attached to the body where they can be used in more constructive forms of struggle.

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