Revolution #180, October 25, 2009

Shine the Light of Revolution Behind the Prison Walls

Shine The Light

Dark are the cells where the locked-down young men
face chains and fists and the ear-pounding din,
where minds fight the madness in slavery pens
and there is no light – no, there is no light.

Cold are the jails where the women on ice –
pressed in by the walls to pay a blood price –
resist, all alone, the heart-crushing vise
and there is no light – no, there is no light.  

Hidden in hells of America’s shame
Their skin’s their sentence, their tongue is their crime –
while Moloch* lays siege to their souls and their names –
but there is no light – no, there is no light.

The sun has gone down, and chill is the night –
Now they turn to you: will there be a light?


Toby O’Ryan


The above poem was inspired by letters from prisoners to REVOLUTION on how much the paper, and in particular the writings of Bob Avakian, mean to them – and especially by the fact that there are still scores of prisoners who cannot receive REVOLUTION because the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund lacks the necessary funds for their subscriptions.

*Moloch – a legendary god in the Old Testament who demanded the sacrifice of children, he was later used as a symbol of the American system in Allen Ginsberg’s classic poem, “Howl.”

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Coming soon in early November...

Special Issue of Revolution on Prisons and Prisoners

To our readers:

Watch out and prepare for the upcoming issue of Revolution focused on prisons and prisoners. In a recent letter addressed to “my sisters and brothers behind the prison walls,” Joe Veale wrote:

“The revolution needs YOU. Needs you to consciously and actively join the struggle to initiate a new wave of communist revolution in the world that is being led by Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party…” (See online at

We call on our readers, including those in prisons, to start thinking about and stategizing with others about how to get the special issue out far and wide—inside and outside the prisons. Prisoners: send in correspondence for printing in Revolution, posted online at, and/or read aloud in classrooms, on the streets, and elsewhere. And, very importantly, raise funds for the printing and distribution of this issue.

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Donate to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund

The Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) is an educational literature fund that fills requests from U.S. prisoners for revolutionary literature. The main requests received by PRLF from those behind bars are for complementary subscriptions in Spanish and English to the weekly newspaper Revolution* and for revolutionary and other books, including ones highlighted in the newspaper. Through providing this literature, PRLF provides an educational opportunity for prisoners to engage with world events and key political, cultural, and philosophical questions of the day from a unique revolutionary perspective, including discussions of morality, religion, science, and the arts. Every week prisoners can delve into the urgent and lively news and debate about unfolding political and social struggles, and can critically think about and dissect the current state of society as well as search for an alternative.

PRLF is a project of the International Humanities Center, a non-profit public charity exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code ( Checks should be made payable to IHCenter/PRLF and mailed to:

International Humanities Center
860 Via de la Paz, Suite B-1
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund
1321 N. Milwaukee, #407
Chicago, IL 60622

To volunteer or reach PRLF, please write us at the Chicago address, call us at 773-960-6952, or e-mail us at

*published by RCP Publications (



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