I got an email from the Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective with this poster, that goes over a few political prisoners with birthdays in march. The text on the poster is as follows:
Send a birthday card to these political prisoners. It’s an easy way to help remind these freedom fighters they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember–don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter. We also recommend that you put your name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday, email us at email@example.com. Brought to you with love by the Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective.
RICHARD MAFUNDI LAKE
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023-7299
March 1, 1940
Richard Mafundi Lake was a long-time organizer against racist police brutality in Alabama. To stop his organizing work, he was sentenced in 1983 under Alabama’s Habitual Offender Act to life in prison.
HUGO L.A. PINELL
PO Box 7500
Crescent City, California
March 10, 1945
Hugo Yogi Pinell has spent the last *42* years in prison — 34 of them in solitary! He hasn’t had a write-up in 24 years. Why so long? Why so many years? The answer, not surprisingly, is politics. Hugo was a student and comrade of the legendary Black Panther Field Marshall, the late George Jackson, with whom he worked to organize other Black prisoners against the racist violence and prison conditions of the ’60s and ’70s. www.hugopinell.org
770 Iowa St.
Dubuque, IA 52001
Carrie is accused of nothing more than refusing to give testimony to a grand jury seeking to indict members of the Animal Liberation Front. Right now she is in 23 hour a day lockdown and refused visits from anyone but her immediate family. She is a dedicated activist, and has worked with a variety of projects in the Twin Cities, including Coldsnap Legal Collective, EWOK!, and the Jack Pine Community Center.
JAAN K. LAAMAN
10372-016/ Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
March 21, 1948
Jaan Karl Laaman is an anti-imperialist political prisoner, imprisoned for actions carried out by United Freedom Front (UFF), a left-wing guerrilla group active in the US in the early ’80s. He is currently serving a 98 years sentence for charges ranging from Seditious Conspiracy, firefights with government forces and weapon possession.
On January 16, 1972, a group calling itself the People’s Liberation Army in New Hampshire planted four bombs in various locations in Manchester, New Hampshire. Three of the bombs exploded shattering the windows of police and fire headquarters. The fourth device was found unexploded in the police chief’s office.
Jaan Laaman and another person, Anne Holt, were arrested and charged with the attacks. The Justice Department stated they found a letter on one of the arrested claiming responsibility for the action. Jaan was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison. After winning an appeal and getting some of his sentence reduced, he was released in 1978. Jaan quickly stepped back into the political life and in 1979 he and his comrade Kazi Toure helped to organize the Amandla Festival of Unity. This Concert helped to fight racism in Boston, where it was held, and raised money to send to freedom fighters in South Africa. This activity along with the anti-racist and community security work he was doing led to increased police and Klan harassment, so Jaan, once again, went underground and joined
the armed clandestine movement.
Jaan joined up with a group known as the United Freedom Front, which consisted of former members of the Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson goup and other revolutionaries. 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, attacking various government buildings.
The UFF continued their activities for several years, funding their actions through bank expropriations. Then on February 7, 1982, Jaan Laaman and another UFF member, Kazi Toure, were involved in a shoot out with police. While Jaan managed to escape, Kazi was arrested. Despite the arrest, the group continued their operations. On November 4, 1984, five members of the group, including Jaan Laaman, were arrested. Nearly six months later, the last two remaining members were arrested.