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From The Editor

By Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of the PLN. We encourage our readers to submit articles and information about happenings in their areas so we can publish them in the paper. However, what some folks have done recently is send us bundles of documents with no background information. For example, one reader in Mississippi sent us about 40 pages of documents that he had sent to the Justice Department, etc., about bad prison conditions at the Mississippi State Prison at Parchman. Rather than send bundles of documents for us to wade through, it is far better for you to send us articles that are already written and ready to go. It is also far cheaper in terms of postage and quicker for us to determine if we will publish it or not. A suggestion is that articles to PLN about bad prison conditions, etc., should also state what is being done about the situation to improve it. Prison conditions are bad everywhere; that isn't news. What we need to know is how prisoners are organizing themselves to improve conditions and otherwise struggling for progressive change.

Our last issue may have had a few more than the usual number of typos because I was unable to assist Ed with the proof reading. I wasn't able to receive my draft issue in time to proof it, as my captors claimed that Dan Pens' article discussing how racism is passed from generation to generation was "racist." Recently Clallam Bay prison officials have taken to censoring any publications that are anti-fascist or discussing the subject. For example, a recent issue of Covert Action Information Bulletin was banned because of an article describing David Duke's racist past. Direct Action, the publication of the International Workers Association, met the same fate because of a piece on racist attacks against immigrants in Europe. We are printing Dan's article in this issue. You, our readers, can make up your own minds. I can't help but notice that racist literature from the Aryan nations and such is allowed to enter and circulate within the prison.

I would also like to thank our prison readers Avi Naftel, John Perotti, and Karl Allars, who have all recently made generous donations to PLN based on settlements and winnings from lawsuits against the Arizona, Ohio, and New York state prison systems, respectively. We are always in need of donations and appreciate any that our readers send to us. We find it especially appropriate when the money is from civil rights violators masquerading as prison officials. If PLN helps you win your case and vindicate your rights, please don't forget us in you moment of victory against the forces of evil.

The PLN benefit tape is now available from our Florida address for a mere $7.00 a copy. So please help support our work by buying this cassette tape of the latest in experimental and industrial rock music.

We are still interested in important dates of prison struggles and news for our 1993 prisoners' calendar. If you are an artist or know someone who is, please send us a sample of your work or let us know if you are interested in contributing artwork to the calendar. We want art that people won't mind looking at for 30 days at a time, and we want to go beyond the usual stuff like clenched fists though the bars, etc.

We are changing the newsletter's name from Prisoners' Legal News to Prison Legal News. When we first started out two years ago, virtually our entire readership consisted of prisoners and we didn't know if we would still be publishing four months later. We've been publishing for a long time now and we're still going strong. We plan to continue putting out the newsletter for as long as it is reasonably self-sufficient (in financial terms). Our readership has expanded beyond prisoners to include friends and families of prisoner, prison activists, lawyers, clergy, revolutionaries, and community organizers. As more people realize that prisons oppress all of society and it's not just a "prisoner thing" we believe the PLN should reflect this diversity in the prison struggle by adjusting our name accordingly. Our name will remain the same on our various form letters until we run out of the old copies. We do not plan to change our content or format, as our readers seem happy with us the way we are.

If you live in the Greater Seattle area, we are always in need of folks to help our volunteers fold, staple, and mail the PLN on the last Tuesday of the month at the American Friends Center in the University District. Please contact Ed or myself for more information. Without our outstanding volunteers the newsletter would not be possible. So please help us if you can. It is only a couple hours, one afternoon a month.

Please check your mailing label and see if it says "final issue." Because of the time lag in our use of the bulk mail system we are now providing two final issue notices to our readers. This means you will receive one "final issue" notice and another one before you are removed from the mailing list. We hope this will give you plenty of time to donate and not miss any issues. We do not have set subscription rates so we calculate donations against our cost of about 50¢ to produce and mail each copy. When it starts to cost us money to send you PLN you will get a "final issue" notice. If you are one of our readers in a control unit, death row, etc., and you get such a notice, it means we have not heard from you in a long time. You need to write and let us know if you still want to receive the paper. If you have moved or otherwise changed your address, please let us know immediately, because the post office will not forward the paper to you and return postage costs 40¢, a sum we can ill afford to pay.

Enclosed with this issue you should find a subscription flyer (if we are able to get it together in time). Please pass it on to someone you think would benefit from reading the newsletter. We are now positioned to expand our mailing list, and this is the first step in what we hope will be an ongoing outreach project. We need your help in reaching more people.

Enjoy this issue of the PLN and pass it along to others when you are done with it. Feel free to write and let us know what is happening where you are, or with information you think would be of interest to our readers. News about upcoming events should be sent to us at least 40 to 60 days in advance to ensure we can publish them in a timely manner.

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