The following is a powerful statement by Jaan Laaman, a political prisoner and one of Tom Manning’s co-defendants who is the last of the United Freedom Front members to be still locked up.
Tom Manning—Words of Remembrance
Class war prisoner, Freedom fighter, Man of the People, long held political prisoner, Thomas William Manning, died on July 30, of a heart issue at the federal penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia.
Tom—Tommy to his many comrades, family, friends, people that knew him, was a life long Revolutionary Freedom Fighter. From the early 70s, Tom was a public activist and organizer and later, a quite successful armed militant in the anti-imperialist underground. Captured in 1985, he and some of his comrades became known as the “Ohio 7/UFF“ (United Freedom Front) defendants.
After many trials Tom was hit with 58 plus 80 year sentences. He was then thrown into some of the worst, harshest prisons in the United States. Being in captivity did not stop Tom from continuing to work and struggle for justice, freedom, Human Rights and the socialist and environmentally sustainable future so many people and our planet so need. Tom struggled against abuses inside prisons and continued to work for the independence struggles in Puerto Rico and Ireland, the Palestinian struggle and the then still ongoing anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. In fact Tom was very likely one of the two last anti-apartheid activists still in captivity anywhere in the world. Tom of course always continued to support the struggles of poor and working people in this country, the struggles of Black people, Native rights and land struggles, against police abuses and murders of civilians, people of color in particular.
Tom was an artist, and accomplished painter. His artwork truly captures some of Tom’s essence: his portrayal of the dignity of working people, children, women, the strength and determination of the revolutionary fighters and leaders, and more. A beautiful book of some of Tom’s art was published in 2014 — “For Love and Liberty“.
Now Tom is gone. Our comrade, my comrade, who suffered years of medical neglect and medical abuse in the federal prison system, your struggle and suffering is now over brother. But your example, your words, deeds, even your art, lives on. You truly were a “Boston Irish rebel,“ a life long Man of and for the People, a warrior, a person of compassion motivated by hope for the future and love for the common people, a Revolutionary Freedom Fighter.
We miss you and love you comrade… and we will carry on the struggle!
Ohio 7/Anti-imperialist political prisoner
(Black) August 2, 2019
To learn more about Jaan Laaman , his case and his plight, go here , and to send him words of encouragement and solidarity, the following is his current address:
Jaan Laaman #10372-016
PO Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635
When writing Jaan, remember you cannot send greeting cards, paper and envelopes must be white and no address labels can be used on the envelope.