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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Manning’

Over 100 in the streets for NYC ABC NYE Noise Demo

2019 started strong as we welcomed home water protector Dion Ortiz. Throughout the year, we saw more comrades released (Janet, Janine, and Eddie Africa; Little Feather, Connor Stevens, and Nina Droz Franco). And yet, as more elders age behind the wall, we lost a true warrior, Tom Manning. To close the year, NYC ABC organized a noise demo outside of Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in order to protest, celebrate, and let folks on the inside know they are not forgotten.

04We got there a little after 8:30 and others were there waiting. We greeted old comrades and folks we’d yet to meet and by 9:00pm, a decent crowd had formed. The night was relatively warm by winter standards, but comrades from the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC) showed up with tea and hot chocolate to make sure everyone’s vocal cords stayed nice and toasty as we yelled and sang upward, into the steel and cement monolith that is MCC.

There were all manner of noise makers, most folks brought their own. Hell, we even had a makeshift drum corps to keep this noise demo moving.

01

Photo by NYC RAM

And while folks were there to celebrate and reach through the walls, signs and banners also expressed the brimming rage of the crowd. A crew from The Base showed up with black flags and banners to make sure all inside knew there were anarchists organizing in solidarity with them.

The demo lasted a couple of hours, but not before folks broke out sparklers and fireworks. And not before a fair amount of cops came to observe. They didn’t have riot gear or visible plasitcuffs, so the threat was more in what a bunch of preposterous goons they are than in any potential for arrest.

We’ve been told before, by comrades who were once held in MCC, that the noise demos light up the whole place and get through to the prisoners. If you’re thinking about organizing a noise demo in your town, do it.

Shortly before the crowd started to break up and head out, the following statement was read as a call and response, ensuring that our comrades inside could hear it:
“To many it feels like we live in a time like no other with surveillance and repression at every turn but also resistance, rebellion, and open revolt. This is neither the new golden nor dark age, it is simply another moment in time where we can collectively force conflict with a fucked up system.

Every day there are revolts of varying scale, most of which you never hear about. For those captured in revolt we come together in protest and celebration. Through the din of revelry and rage we tie ourselves to those who suffer systematized white supremacy and war against the working class

Prison is a means of social control to be absolutely destroyed.

Here’s to the total destruction of a prison-based society!

Tonight we bring with us the courage of Bill Dunne, the ferocity of Joe-Joe Bowen, the wisdom of Mutulu Shakur.

We remember in every act of rebellion against the state, our deceased comrades Tom Manning and Robert Seth Hayes your legacies will never be forgotten.

We hold in our hearts comrades soon to be or recently imprisoned—David Campbell, Joseph Dibee, Gage Halupowski, Chelsea Manning.

YOU. ARE NOT. ALONE.

In memory of Tom Manning – A Memorial Zine

Some friends have put together a zine collecting the public statements made in memory of Tom Manning since he passed away on July 30th.

We wanted to offer it to people today to join in spirit with all those who gathered for Tom’s memorial in Boston.

Tom was a comrade, an elder and a teacher for generations on both sides of the walls. Many of us will always continue to carry Tom’s spirit in our hearts and our work. We thought that having these beautiful statements collected in a zine would be one way to honor Tom and to help our many different projects and spaces keep Tom present with us. We also wanted to collect the statements to uplift and support the political prisoners who wrote about Tom and heed their words about our struggles as we mourn a movement elder.

Here is the reading version and the printable version of the zine.

RIP, Tom Manning.

NYC ABC Statement on Tom Manning’s Death

As a collective, New York City Anarchist Black Cross (NYC ABC) is deeply saddened by the death of Tom Manning. Make no mistake—Tom Manning died in prison due to repression, indifference, torture, and neglect, spanning decades, at the hands of the state. It was in the state’s interest to heap abuse on Tom, as it does all political prisoners, in an attempt to break him, as well as to send a message to us on the outside. It is our charge to act with the same dedication, principle, and courage that Tom consistently demonstrated as he remained unbroken.

Tom showed us that being selfless does not mean being a martyr. Tom made sacrifice after sacrifice in the name of revolution—against imperialism, colonialism, white supremacy, and oppression, but not to draw attention to himself. What Tom gave up was due to the burning in his chest for freedom for all. His example continues to guide NYC ABC as we both organize to support our political prisoners and struggle against the state and capital.

Through his art, Tom was a steady reminder that revolt must include beauty. The least we can do is continue what he started and never let his name be forgotten.

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BK/NY – Tuesday, September 3rd – Letter-writing to Jaan Laaman

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, September 3rd, 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
jaan laaman 2015As summer nears its end, what better way to send it off than with some solidarity to US held political prisoners and POWs. This Tuesday’s NYC ABC political prisoner letter-writing dinner will focus on anti-imperialist political prisoner Jaan Laaman, imprisoned for actions carried out by United Freedom Front (UFF). It is impossible to think about Jaan or the UFF without thinking of Tom Manning, who recently died in prison at the hands of medical neglect and state tyranny. Your spirit lives with us, Tom!

The UFF was a clandestine revolutionary organization active in the United States in the early 1980s. The group targeted government institutions and major corporations that had ties to the South African Apartheid system or right-wing paramilitaries in Central America. This included taking actions directly against the South African and United States governments. The UFF carried out targeted bombings of corporate buildings, courthouses and military facilities as well as bank robberies to fund revolutionary projects. Jaan was deeply involved in anti-South African apartheid organizing.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Jaan:
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016

USP McCreary

Post Office Box 3000
Pine Knot, Kentucky 42635

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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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Illustrated Guide Version 14.5 Uploaded!

We’ve finished the latest version of the NYC ABCIllustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War” and it’s available for viewing (and download) by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. This update includes updated mini-bios, photos, and address changes for several prisoners. We are thankful to remove Standing Rock 6 prisoner Little Feather (halfway house!).