Mailroom Censorship

7/17/18

Looks like the mailroom is wanting to censor me. This is what I’m putting in for my appeal to the mail rejections. I got most of it (basically all) from the boilerplate that the IWOC puts on their newsletters.

Appeal to mail rejections:
W 7-6-18 I 649
W 7-6-18 I 649 Revised 7-13-18
Jpay 7-16-18 11:33am
Jpay 7-16-18 11:34am
Jpay 7-16-18 4:36pm
Jpay 7-16-18 5:02pm

The sheer amount of mail rejections I am receiving shows an obvious bias against me and my political ideas by mailroom staff. My mail is not being rejected for the reasons given but because of the ideas being discussed. This is shown by the illogical rejection first given for ‘ W 7-6-18 I 649’ and the “corrected” version of that same rejection ‘W 7-6-18 I 649 Revised 7-13-18’. The first says “not sent bye publisher”, which is both grammatically incorrect and not a legitimate reason for rejection. The second does not cite the material sent itself, but raises a political objection to other materials and ideas promoted by Monkey Wrench Books in general. Ideas similar to those I often discuss, especially when I write with the intent to publish. The exclusion and/or censorship of these materials and ideas is a direct violation of my First Amendment Right to Free Speech.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects Free Speech. Regulations that permit the government or its employees to discriminate on the basis of the content of the message cannot be tolerated under the First Amendment(1).
Further, prisoners retain Free Speech Rights. Thought control, by means of prohibiting beliefs, would not only be undesirable but impossible(2). Fact of confinement and the needs of the penal institution impose rational limitations on prisoner Free Speech Rights(3), but those restrictions must have a “valid, rational connection” to “legitimate penological interests” not related to the content of ideas(4). Regulations and practices can only be justified when the practice “furthers an important or substantial government interest unrelated to the suppression of expression”(5).

This means you cannot legally suppress the expression of ideas. Prison walls do not serve to form a barrier separating prisoners from the protections of the Constitution(6). Core political speech is most zealously guarded and there is a public interest in “having free and unhindered debate on matters of public importance — the core value of the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment”(7).

Thus, exclusion of printed material or censorship of material to be published on the basis of its political perspective amounts to Free Speech retaliation and discrimination which is illegal(8). If you exclude/censor material for an unlawful basis, or if you simply conjure up a false pretext for its exclusion/censorship, you have broken the law.

Therefore, myself as a recipient of rejected/excluded material and myself as author of censored material has cause to bring a civil rights action against you. You and everyone from your supervisor to the director of the prison system, may be named in those civil actions.

Because this primer is my appeal to the above mail rejections and censorships, you will not be able to claim you did not know your actions were illegal.
For these reasons, I ask that you conform to federal law and refrain from unlawful discrimination against myself by censoring my writings and excluding the materials of others.

1)Regan v. Time, Inc., 468 US 641, 648-49, 104 SCt 3262 (1984). “[T]he fact that society may find speech offensive is not sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker’s opinion that gives offence, that consequence is reason for according it constitutional protection.”
Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 495, US 45, 46, 108, SCt 876, 882. The government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.
US v. Eichman 496 US 310, 319, 110 SCt 2404 (1990). “[A]bove all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.”
Police Dept. of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 US 92, 95, 92 SCt 2286, 2290 (1972).

2) Jones v. North Carolina Prison Labor Union, 433, US 119, 97 SCt 2532 (1977).

3) Pell v. Procunier, 417 US 817, 822, 94 SCt 2800, 2804 (1974).

4) Turner v. Safely, 482 US 78, 107 SCt 2245 (1987).

5) Turner, supra.

6) Turner, supra.

7) Pickering v. Board of Education, 319 US 563, 573, 88 SCt 1731 (1968).

8) Abu-Jamal v. Price, 154 F3d 128 (3rd Cir., 1998)
X v. Blatter, 175, F3d 378 (6th Cir. 1999)

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