A link above to more information about the class-war prisoner honored in this entry.
Make June Class-War Prisoners Freedom Month
In “surfing” the “National Jericho Movement” Website recently in order to find out more, if possible, about class- war prisoner and 1960s radical, Marilyn Buck, whom I had read about in a “The Rag Blog” post I linked to the Jericho list of class war prisoners. I found Marilyn Buck listed there but also others, some of whose cases, like that of the “voice of the voiceless” Pennsylvania death row prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, are well-known and others who seemingly have languished in obscurity. All of the cases, at least from the information that I could glean from the site, seemed compelling. And all seemed worthy of far more publicity and of a more public fight for their freedom.
That last notion set me to the task at hand. Readers of this space know that I am a long time supporter of the Partisan Defense Committee, a class struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization which supports class war prisoners as part of the process of advancing the international working class’ struggle for socialism. In that spirit I am honoring the class war prisoners on the National Jericho Movement list this June as the start of what I hope will be an on-going attempt by all serious leftist militants to do their duty- fighting for freedom for these brothers and sisters. We will fight out our political differences and disagreements as a separate matter. What matter here and now is the old Wobblie (IWW) slogan - An injury to one is an injury to all.
Note: This list, right now, is composed of class war prisoners held in American detention. If others are likewise incarcerated that are not listed here feel free to leave information on their cases in the comment section. Likewise any cases, internationally, that come to your attention. I am sure there are many, many such cases out there. Make this June, and every June, a Class-War Prisoners Freedom Month- Free All Class-War Prisoners Now!
Thursday, January 31, 2008
*Free The Last of the Ohio Seven-They Must Not Die In Jail
Click on title to link to the Partisan Defense Committee (an organization whose goals I support) to learn more about the Manning and Laaman cases(and other political prisoners supported by the organization)
ONE OF THE OHIO SEVEN -RICHARD WILLIAMS- RECENTLY DIED IN PRISON (2006). THAT LEAVES JAAN LAAMAN AND TOM MANNING STILL IN PRISON. IT IS AN URGENT DUTY FOR THE INTERNATIONAL LABOR MOVEMENT AND OTHERS TO RAISE THE CALL FOR THEIR FREEDOM. FREE ALL CLASS WAR PRISONERS.
I have added a link to Tom Manning's site that can provide a link to Jaan Laaman's site. For convenience I have labelled this link the Ohio Seven Defense Committee site. Free the last of the Seven. Below is a commentary written in 2006 arguing for their freedom.
Below is a repost of a commentary I made in 2007 to support of freedom for the last of the Ohio Seven
The Ohio Seven, like many other subjective revolutionaries, coming out of the turbulent anti-Vietnam War and anti-imperialist movements, were committed to social change. The different is that this organization included mainly working class militants, some of whose political consciousness was formed by participation as soldiers in the Vietnam War itself. Various members were convicted for carrying out robberies, apparently to raise money for their struggles, and bombings of imperialist targets. Without going into their particular personal and political biographies I note that these were the kind of subjective revolutionaries that must be recruited to a working class vanguard party if there ever is to be a chance of bringing off a socialist revolution. In the absence of a viable revolutionary labor party in the 1970’s and 1980’s the politics of the Ohio Seven, like the Black Panthers and the Weathermen, were borne of despair at the immensity of the task and also by desperation to do something concrete in aid of the Vietnamese Revolution and other Third World struggles . Their actions in trying to open up a second front militarily in the United States in aid of Third World struggles without a mass base proved to be mistaken but, as the Partisan Defense Committee which I support has noted, their actions were no crime in the eyes of the international working class.
The lack of a revolutionary vanguard to attract such working class elements away from adventurism is rendered even more tragic in the case of the Ohio Seven. Leon Trotsky, a leader with Lenin of the Russian Revolution of 1917, noted in a political obituary for his fallen comrade and fellow Left Oppositionist Kote Tsintadze that the West has not produced such fighters as Kote. Kote, who went through all the phases of struggle for the Russian Revolution, including imprisonment and exile under both the Czar and Stalin benefited from solidarity in a mass revolutionary vanguard party to sustain him through the hard times. What a revolutionary party could have done with the evident capacity and continuing commitment of subjective revolutionaries like the Ohio Seven poses that question point blank. This is the central problem and task of cadre development in the West in resolving the crisis of revolutionary leadership.
Finally, I would like to note that except for the Partisan Defense Committee and their own defense organizations – the Ohio 7 Defense Committee and the Jaan Laaman Defense Fund- the Ohio Seven have long ago been abandoned by those New Left elements and others, who as noted, at one time had very similar politics. At least part of this can be attributed to the rightward drift to liberal pacifist politics by many of them, but some must be attributed to class. Although the Ohio Seven were not our people- they are our people. All honor to them. As James P Cannon, a founding leader of the International Labor Defense, forerunner of the Partisan Defense Committee, pointed out long ago –Solidarity with class war prisoners is not charity- it is a duty. Their fight is our fight! LET US DO OUR DUTY HERE. RAISE THE CALL FOR THE FREEDOM OF LAAMAN AND MANNING. MAKE MOTIONS OF SOLIDARITY IN YOUR POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, SCHOOL OR UNION.
YOU CAN GOOGLE THE ORGANIZATIONS MENTIONED ABOVE- THE PARTISAN DEFENSE COMMITTEE- THE OHIO 7 DEFENSE COMMITTEE- THE JAAN LAAMAN DEFENSE FUND.
*Once Again, Free Laaman And Manning- The Last Of The Ohio Seven In Jail- An Update
Link above to a little off-hand information about the Ohio 7.
Needless to say, the organization that I support, the Partisan Defense Committee, has over the years supported the last two imprisoned members of the group, Jan Laaman and Tom Manning, in their struggles for freedom. While we spent time on this site recording and remembering various events from our youth, the 1960s, we should not forget those who are behind the walls of the class enemy. I will repeat what I have mentioned on previous occasions, and the PDC has as well in their publicity on the case; the Ohio did nothing that can be considered a crime by the international working class movement. Moreover, the roll call of crimes, great and small, from war to torture by the American imperial state in that time since Vietnam remain to be opposed, including today's Obamian war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Free Laaman and Manning- Do Not Let Them Die In Prison!