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Posts Tagged ‘Ray Luc Levasseur’

BK/NY – Tuesday, August 6th – Black August Card Writing Dinner

WHAT: Black August Card Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)
NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Free
black_august
Normally we in NYC ABC write these short blurbs announcing our every other week Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinners in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Or perhaps we highlight the good news of an imprisoned comrade being released from prison. With this announcement, that’s not the case. We’ve just lost United Freedom Front political prisoner Tom Manning. Tom died in prison and we cannot emphasize enough that he deserved better. Tom was a mentor and never wavered in his revolutionary principles. Please take the time to read this statement by Ray Luc Levasseur, a former political prisoner and one of Tom’s closest comrades. We are certain that Tom would not want his death to result in the work of supporting political prisoners slowing and so as a collective, we carry on. This week, we will be hosting a Black August card signing.

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Statement by Ray Luc Levasseur Regarding Tom Manning

Tom Manning’s death on July 30 has me in the grip of an emotional riptide. I feel like part of me died with him.

Tom was imprisoned at USP-Hazelton, WV at the time of his death. The ostensible cause of death, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, was a heart attack.

I received Tom’s last letter on July 15. He wrote that he was in dire circumstances, his medical needs treated with deliberate indifference, delays in receiving necessary medication, his body weak from lack of oxygen. Supporters scrambled to get a lawyer in to see him, but death arrived first.

Tom battled the Bureau of Prisons criminal negligence of his medical needs for the past 10 years, beginning when he almost died from an untreated knee infection while at USP-Coleman, FL. As a result of that infection, most of his knee was surgically removed and he was wheelchair bound for the rest of his days.

But he was not through fighting.

When he arrived at FMC-Butner, NC for further medical treatment he was kept in solitary confinement under abysmal conditions for 3 years. Much-needed knee and shoulder surgeries were repeatedly delayed until pressure from Tom’s supporters forced the BOP to act. But the surgeries came too late, and combined with the lack of necessary rehab insured that Tom remained in a wheelchair.

Tom always had the warrior spirit, right to his last breath. Many more like him, and the ruling class would tremble. The ache in my heart over his passing will be forever.

In remembrance, I offer words I wrote in 2014 for Tom’s book “For Love and Liberty,” a collection of his paintings:

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Tom Manning – For Love and Liberty

ForLoveAndLiberty_pitchWe want to call your attention to an exciting new project that is in the works by Political Prisoner Tom Manning. Tom, with the help of outside supporters, is creating a book of his paintings. If you have not seen his art, we highly recommend you check it out and show solidarity by helping Tom finish and publish this work. The years of work to produce this beautiful book and important document are nearing their end and we need your help to fund the last phase of production!

The book, For Love and Liberty, will feature:

–     86 full color reproductions of Tom’s Paintings
–     Preface by Robby Meeropol
–     Article, “In My Time” by Tom
–     Poem by Assata, “Affirmation”
–     Autobiography of Tom Manning
–     Afterword by Ray Levasseur
–     Notes from photographer Penny Schoner

Who is Tom Manning?

Thomas Manning is an anti-imperialist revolutionary who was active in the United Freedom Front, a clandestine anti-imperialist organization that carried out targeted bombings of corporate buildings, courthouses and military facilities and also carried out bank robberies to fund revolutionary projects.  He was unjustly sentenced to 80 years in prison for killing a New Jersey state trooper in self-defense. He is a freedom fighter, political prisoner and prolific artist. His paintings are stories that jump off the page, revealing the outlook of people who struggle for liberation around the world. His paintings are about life and his landscapes recall times of importance.

All proceeds, after production costs, will be donated to the Rosenberg Fund for Children

From the Preface by Robby Meeropol:

“Tom’s been incarcerated for 34 years.  But even before he received his current life sentence he was trapped by the limited choices left to an impoverished child surviving in Boston’s infamous Maverick Street Projects. The military during the Vietnam era seemed like a way out, but that too became a hellish form of confinement. Tom broke free, he revolted.  He became a revolutionary.  He committed the unforgivable sin of confronting today’s great imperial empire, the United States, on its home turf.  For that, I expect the prison industrial complex will do its best to keep him confined for as long as it can.”

More info at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/for-love-and-liberty

For additional questions please contact Penny Schoner: pennyschoner@yahoo.com