[Pnews] Former Political Prisoner Ray Luc Levasseur on Tom Manning of the United Freedom Front
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 3 11:20:02 EDT 2017
Interview: Ray Luc Levasseur on Tom Manning of the United Freedom Front
August 1, 2017
/Luther Blissett interviews former UFF
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Freedom_Front> member Ray Luc
Lavasseur on the ongoing situation of Tom Manning, one of two remaining
prisoners from the Marxist insurrectionist group (the other being Jaan
American prisons try to silence and kill political prisoners slowly and
painfully. Right now, that is what Federal Bureau of Prisons and the
Warden of FCI Butner Medium II are trying to do to political prisoner
and anti-imperialist Tom Manning
<http://prisonersolidarity.net/prisoner/tom-manning>. Last month Ray Luc
Levasseur agreed to an interview
about Ray and Tom’s imprisoned United Freedom Front (UFF) comrade Jaan
Laaman. While Tom is not facing transfer to a Communication Management
Unit like Jaan, Tom’s situation is equally dire but for different reasons.
Tom’s confined to a wheelchair, is locked in segregation, has medical
needs, and the prison’s policy seems to be to let him die slowly and
painfully. If it wasn’t for activists and supporters, as well as Tom’s
lawyer, he would have likely received no treatment or surgery at all.
Tom needs our support. Thus far, Tom has already spent 18 of the past 32
years imprisoned in solitary.
This interview with Ray is meant to help readers understand why that
support is important. As a prisoner, Ray spent 13 years in solitary —
including Marion and ADX. He understands first hand what comrades Jaan
and Tom are living through on a daily basis. As Ray indicated in the
last interview, it is vital that people keep writing Tom, showing Tom
and the prison that he has our support. It’s also a way to consistently
keep pressure up on the warden and the guards.
*I understand Tom’s been moved to a new prison. What do people need to
know about this move?*
Tom was moved to a different prison, not a new one. From the Federal
Medical Center (FMC) at Butner to the Federal Correctional Institution
(FCI) II at Butner. This move is intended to punish him. Immediately
upon his arrival to the FCI he was placed in segregation, i.e. solitary.
He is in Administrative segregation as he has not been charged with any
disciplinary violation.This is a man who is wheelchair-bound and has
serious medical problems. In segregation he has no access to email and
is restricted to one phone every 30 days. He has no access to physical
therapy, which he needs. A prisoner in segregation is more likely to
have their medical needs ignored than a prisoner in general population.
*Is there any reason for us to be concerned about his relocation?*
In addition to the above, Tom was at the FMC for almost seven years
before being transferred to the FCI. The first three of those years he
was keep in a special isolation unit for 23-24 hours a day. Solitary
confinement, especially of long duration, is inherently damaging to
one’s mental and physical health.
*How is Tom’s recovery from surgery going?*
His most recent surgery for a badly infected toe was not done as soon as
it should have been. It was only done after we had an attorney and
medical doctor confront Butner officialdom about the obvious medical
It is too soon to be certain if there will be post-op complications but
as of this writing, he is slowly recovering. But Tom has had other
surgeries while at Butner that were done long after they should have
been, the result of this medical neglect being he has never fully
recovered from them. That’s why he’s still in a wheelchair and
experiences so much pain.
*How central was outside support in terms of getting Tom’s operation?*
Every surgery Tom has had while at Butner required the intervention of
outside pressure from lawyers and medical professionals who support
prisoners human and legal rights.
*Do you know when Tom’s eligible to apply for parole?*
Approximately two years ago Tom applied for parole, had his initial
hearing, and was denied. (Keep in mind — were he granted parole he
wouldn’t be released from prison. He’d be transferred to a state
jurisdiction where a long prison sentence awaits him. The fact that the
federal parole commission refuses to release him to his state sentence
underscores the vindictiveness of the parole commission). Tom is now
scheduled for an interim parole hearing in November, 2017.
*In our support for Tom, what should we focus on?*
Send Tom letters, he appreciates them. Send him downloaded or
photocopied articles to read. He’ll read then (he doesn’t have much
else of substance to read). If a “call” is issued by Jericho, Freedom
Archives, ABCF or others for letters, emails and phone calls to Butner
FCI or the federal Bureau of Prisons, send those letters and emails, and
make those phone calls.
We don’t request that level of support and intervention unless the
matter is very serious. We’re trying to get Tom out of segregation
through lawyers. If this doesn’t succeed and Tom remains in segregation
we’ll have to try another tactic.
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
Tom Manning #10373-016
FCI Butner Medium II
P.O. Box 1500
Butner NC 27509″
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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