Statements by Oso Blanco and Jaan Laaman in Memory of Tom Manning

Published August 10, 2019

Oso Blanco

Statement from Oso Blanco – A Revolutionary’s Farewell: Rest in Power, Tom Manning

Brothers and Sisters of the Struggles:

I’m sad to learn I’ve lost a great and true Warrior Brother, Tom Manning, who left this earth only very recently.

He is free now. Dealing with our loss is not getting easier. The only positive way I can deal with the loss of our great comrade is to think of his transition in those terms. Tom is free now, and it is always better to be free.

I did three–and–a–half years with Tom in USP Leavenworth, where he and Leonard Peltier taught me to paint with oils and schooled me on how I’d be treated horribly strictly due to my politically motivated actions that landed me in prison. Tom taught me what to expect from this imperialist empire. I truly loved this Brother Tom Manning, and also his brother Bob Manning who is still with us in New Mexico. Bob always helps me, and stays in touch with me and my mother, Melody.

We must stop wasting time, for these warriors laid the revolutionary foundation that the struggle lives upon today. These people must not be left to rot in the hell holes of this empire. All of you need to get your people out, and be for real, and put your comfort–zone toys away so you can put in the real work it takes to the help men and women who have been locked up by the monsters of death and destruction running this empire. Get your asses in fucking gear.

I say this to all in the struggle—every activist, every warrior, every anarchist: be for Super Real and Powerful like Tom Manning and his co-defendants and start getting your actions rocking and rolling. Waste no more time.

To learn more about Oso Blanco, his case and his plight, and find his current address to use when sending cards or letters showing support and solidarity: https://prisonersolidarity.com/prisoner/oso-blanco


Remembrance, a statement by political prisoner, Jaan Laaman

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

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!

Jaan Laaman, Ohio 7/Anti-imperialist political prisoner, (Black) August 2, 2019

To learn more about Jaan Laaman , his case and his plight, and to send him words of encouragement and solidarity, go here: https://prisonersolidarity.com/prisoner/jaan-karl-laaman

From: https://sacprisonersupport.wordpress.com/