Letters to the Editor – October 2017

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Punished with solitary

Jaan K. Laaman, long-time anti-imperialist political prisoner, is still locked down in segregation (minimum of 23 hours per day in a 6’×9′ cell).

Jaan has been in “segregation” for months simply for issuing two statements, a clear violation of free speech and human rights.

He is being threatened with transfer to a Communication Management Unit (CMU) or Special Management Unit; these punishments would be a violation for practicing free speech.

After a prison hearing on May 4, 2017, Jaan was found to not have violated prison regulations regarding “misuse of mail,” but was found to have violated prison regulations concerning “misuse of the telephone,” for speaking on the phone to a friend and conveying his support of the “Day Without a Woman Strike” (International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017), and his feelings about the death of his friend, Attorney Lynne Stewart.

CMUs are prison units designed to isolate and segregate prisoners. People locked up in the CMUs are completely banned from any physical contact with visiting family members and friends, and other types of communication.

How you can support Jaan? Contact the Bureau of Prisons Regional Director and ask her not to transfer Jaan to a Communication Management Unit.

Write or email Mary M. Mitchell, Regional Director, BOP Regional Office, 7338 Shoreline Dr, Stockton, CA 95219. Regional email: wxro/execassistant@bop.gov

4strugglemag.org, Toronto

Editor’s note: The above is excerpted from an open letter. Readers were also asked to send solidarity notes and cards to: Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016, USP Tucson, P.O. Box 24550, Tucson, AZ 85734.


Truthful and funny

I enjoy most of your articles, but “Food — gotta have it, can’t afford it!” [Vol. 38, No. 4] was not only informative, but hilarious in that way I especially love, telling the truth about how insane our world can be.

Thank you for informing, and making us laugh.

Linde Knighton, Seattle

Great article

Thanks for sending the great article on food. We will use it in the fall edition of Mother Warriors Voice.

Pat Gowen, Director, Welfare Warriors

Milwaukee, Wis.


Class analysis clarifies

Just wanted to thank the FS staff for another superb issue [Vol 38, No. 4].

Helen Gilbert’s book review of Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets and Susan Williams article Marx’s Capital for the 21st Century” are great examples of your ongoing efforts in providing clear, socialist education—something so badly needed these days. When you look at things through the lens of class realities, things become much more clear.

In particular, I’d like to thank Muffy Sunde for her article “Can Reform be the Route of Radical Change? re: the Democratic Socialists of America.” Reaching out to the DSA and other socialist groups in our too-fractured Left in a constructive and positive way points the way forward.

We socialists need to unify around the common ground that we share if we’re ever going to make any real progress toward our common goal of a truly democratic USA, building toward a post-capitalist world.

In the USA, we’ve tried repeatedly to use reforms to improve things. Teddy “Trust-Buster” Roosevelt’s “Square Deal”, Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, and Lyndon Johnson’s attempts to build “The Great Society” were good efforts for their times, but each shared one huge flaw: they all left corporations in control, which led to the same problems popping up again and again.

How can we come to grips with the problems caused by climate change and millions lacking adequate health-care coverage while working within the confines of capitalism, which causes these problems?

The “Better Deal” proposals now being offered by current Senate minority leader Charles Schumer amount to little more than playing tiddly-winks with the Titanic’s deck chairs.

Dave Zink, Steilacoom, Wash.


Shame the government

It certainly is a problem [“Zika, birth defects and government lies,” Vol. 38, No. 4]. If the disability is that obvious why is the government pretending it is not there? Are they denying it so they don’t have to pay for medical care?

A high profile expedition of specialists might help end the secrecy and shame the Puerto Rican government into providing care for these children.

Diana E Forrest, United Kingdom


Eye-opening article

Lois Danks, thanks for the real story on Jeff Sessions [“USA’s top cop a throwback to the Old South,” Vol 38, No. 4]. My only wish is that a million folks get to read what you wrote.

J. Rensch, Northwood, Ohio

The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@mindspring.com.

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