From the January-February 2018 issue of News & Letters
Editor’s note: We print below a letter from a prisoner, Fredd, whose copy of N&L was censored by his prison. This is happening more frequently. As readers know, we print nothing illegal or untrue. We report the news and we print prisoners and others speaking for themselves. Fredd writes that none of the publishers of censored publications have responded to him or fought the prisons censoring their publications. We want to respond but cannot afford a lawyer. Is there a lawyer willing to fight for prisoners to get the publications that they need for their own self-development? As Fredd asks and is trying to do himself, stand for those who can’t, and help keep sending N&L behind bars for the prisoners who request it.
Enclosed in this letter you will find a mail refusal for your newspaper. My prison mailroom should have already sent you copies, but I don’t trust them. It is my hope that you will stand up to my overly oppressive mailroom and win where I haven’t been able. The head of the mailroom gets away with censorship because publishers aren’t standing up for their own rights. This would have been the third newsletter I would have received from you.
The other two came through just fine. Those two newsletters are almost in tatters due to how many hands they have been through. I have a list on who gets them in what order. We call it political porn due to its popularity.
I will say, you being censored adds you to an interesting list. Here’s an example [with the name of the magazine followed by the reason it was refused by the prison]:
Entertainment Magazine—Depictions of true crime shows; People—sexually explicit, shows nudity; US—sexually explicit, shows nudity; OK Magazine—sexually explicit, shows nudity; NewsWeek—threat to the safety and security of the institution, no reason given; The Fifth Estate—threat to the safety and security of the institution, no reason given; Slingshot—Security threat group (Stg=gang) threat to the safety and security of the institution; News & Letters—threat to the safety and security of the institution, no reason given; 2600 Magazine—threat to the safety and security of the institution, no reason given.
There are many more. Here is a list of the publishers who have appealed:
Oh, yeah, right. None to my knowledge! Please note that I attempted to order both The Fifth Estate and 2600 Magazine and they were what I call “Pre-Censored.” I was not even allowed to order them for the reason stated on my list. When I attempted to contact them and inform them of this I received no response. This would be my first issue of Slingshot so I do not know their response (if any) yet.
Please stand up for those of us who have been knocked down and are not able to stand for ourselves.
My name is Fredd and I am Anonymous. I stand for those who can’t. Will you stand for me?