Mar 18, 2018
For this week’s episode, Bursts spoke with Ray Luc Levasseur, longtime activist, Vietnam War vet, revolutionary and former political prisoner in the U.S. Ray was a reputed founder of the Sam Melville / Jonathan Jackson Unit, later known as the United Freedom Front which conducted sabotage, expropriations and attacks against profiteers and symbols of American Imperialism and oppression abroad. After 9 years of activity in the group and living underground, members of the group were apprehended and became known as the Ohio 7. Ray was paroled in 2004, about 20 years after his arrest.
Here we present half of our interview with Ray, which covers some of his political development. The other portion of this interview will air soon.
Now, though, we’ll hear about Ray’s organizing with prisoners
after his own political incarceration for organizing and possession
of small portions of marijuana for sale, the organizing of SCAR
(Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform), meeting Tom Manning,
the process of going underground and why they chose this route and
the formation of the underground movement later known as the
SM/JJU. Then, Ray speaks about the case of his still incarcerated
co-defendants, Jaan Laaman, and in more detail about co-defendant
Tom Manning. Tom has been kept off and on in solitary confinement
for very long periods of time, has been summarily transferred, has
received inadequate medical care for the injuries of incarceration
and aging inside of prisons. He was producing artwork until 2010
when he almost lost his leg due to an injury while being held in
Florida. He was recently transferred from the Medical Facility at
Butner, NC, to USP Hazelton in West Virginia. Tom Manning has only
recently been able to start drawing again because he finally
relieved some medical care relieving some of his pain & there’
s an art room at Hazelton with some supplies.
If you’d like to correspond with Tom, you can write him at:
Thomas Manning #10373-016
Post Office Box 2000
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia 26525
If you want to check out Tom's art while monetarily supporting him, consider getting "For Love And Liberty"
We’ll have more info on the case of Jaan Laaman, the other
member of the UFF still in prison soon. Jaan’s birthday is coming
up on March 21st, so send him a birthday greeting if you want.
Jaan Laaman #10372-016
Post Office Box 3000
Pine Knot, Kentucky 42635
To keep up on support for Tom, Jaan and other political prisoners in the U.S., check out the for The National Jericho Movement Fedbook page, or signing up for the Freedom Archives Political Prisoner News list. Also, you can check out 4StruggleMag, which Jaan helped to found.
If you're in NYC, the National Jericho Movement (website & fedbook) is having it's 20th anniversary gathering on March 24th (as Ray mentions in the chat). Here's a link to the JerichoNYC page for more details.