By Jaan Laaman,
Ohio 7 anti-imperialist political prisoner
Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners, is a very new, very informative and very useful book. It is edited by Matt Meyer and published by PM-Kersplebedeb.
This is a huge book, over 800 pages, comprised largely of just what the subtitle says: documents from the movements to free U.S. political prisoners. This includes significant historical documents like the complete indictments, presentations and findings of three International Tribunals that have investigated the reality and conditions of political prisoners held by the U.S. These were: Special International Tribunal on the Violation of Human Rights of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War in United States Prisons and Jails (1990), International Tribunal of Indigenous Peoples and Oppressed Nations in the USA (1992), and International Tribunal on Human Rights Violations in Puerto Rico and Vieques by the United States of America (2000).
The book also has loads of information on the issues, reality and struggle of political prisoners, including lots of well-selected writings by many of the prisoners. There is also a good collection of statements, information and analysis from many human rights and activist organizations.
In the first section of the book, author and activist Dan Berger has written a “Brief History of Political Militancy and Incarceration: 1960s to 2000s.” This is a condensed but clear, informative, non-sectarian and quite detailed account of the movements, organizations and some of the individuals who are a unique part of recent U.S. history. The book concludes with 30 pages of up-to-date political prisoner support organizations. Each group’s contact information and a short description of the work they do is presented.
Let Freedom Ring in one sense is like a resource centre. It also contains some moving and inspirational writings and thoughts. Overall it is loaded with information, analysis and history.
As a long-held political prisoner, while I have not yet read all 800 plus pages of this book, I can say that I have not come across any serious errors or many omissions of fact or information.
This is a very useful and even important book for any person or group interested in political prisoners, human rights, the prison industrial complex, and more broadly with social, environmental and economic justice struggles. It does have a high list price ($38), but think of it as an investment or buy it with a friend.