Jaan Karl Laaman

Last modified: 

Aug 10, 2017

Jaan Karl Laaman grew up in Roxbury, MA and Buffalo, NY. His family emigrated to the US from Estonia when he was a child.

He is currently serving a 53 year prison sentence for his role in the bombings of United States government buildings while a member of the United Freedom Front, an American leftist group which robbed banks, bombed buildings, and attacked law enforcement officers in the 1980s.

Political Life

In the 1960s Laaman worked in Students for a Democratic Society, community organizations and advocated against the Vietnam War and racism. He facilitated youth development in the Black Panther Party and the Puerto Rican Young Lords street gang.

New Hampshire Case:

In 1972 he was arrested and charged with bombing a Richard Nixon reelection headquarters building and a police station in New Hampshire and was sentenced to 20 years. However, he was released in 1978 after winning an appeal and having his sentence reduced.

The Ohio 7 case:

Jaan quickly stepped back into the political life and in 1979 he and Kazi Toure helped to organize the Amandla Festival of Unity. This concert, which featured Bob Marley, 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 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. However, 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 and referred to collectively as the Ohio 7.

While originally charged with seditious conspiracy, Laaman was found guilty of five bombings, one attempted bombing, and criminal conspiracy, and was sentenced to 53 years in prison.

Media:

Jaan is an editor of 4 Struggle Mag which regularly published his writings.  He also has a podcast available at http://freejaan.blogspot.com/. This blog has not been updated for several years.

 

Facebook:

You can find one support group for Jaan on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Free-Jaan-Laaman-893324014061467/

 

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Comments

blissettfaq's picture

It appears that there was

It appears that there was once a support site for Jaan: [freejaan.blogspot.com]. However, I do not see any activity there since 2012. I have also not found many support groups online.

Is there any more current information? Or is there an official support group for Jaan? If so, please post a link or contact information here.

Thanks,

Lb

blissettfaq's picture

29 May 2017

29 May 2017

All that follows is based on a letter dated 17 March 2017. Jaan gives explicit permission to share news of his situation.

Not all mail being received coming or going:

  1. Received one letter from Jaan dated mid-May. He reports sending a letter in April. That letter never made it to me.
  2. In mid-May letter, Jaan reports getting one postcard from me; I had sent 4-5 postcards and multiple letters/mailings to him. One or several may have been rejected due to not having

Jaan's current situation

On 3/21/17, Jaan's birthday, he was put into segregation for "threatening security and mail misuse." On 5/4/17, the disciplinary hearing found him not guilty.

During that same hearing, on 5/4/17, Jaan writes, "'But then the disciplinary hearing woman said, "I have to find you guilty of this phone charge.' On 3/8, when I called my friend and gave him my support message for a Woman's March -- and an obituary for Lynne Stewart. I lost my phone privileges for 6 months and 10 days of good time."

Jaan goes on to explain that he should have been released from segregation at that point. However, SIS (security-intelligence forces within the BOP according to Jaan's letter), are apparently interested in having Jaan placed within a CMU (controlled media unit).

All of this is important because, in about 18 months, Jaan has his first parole eligibility hearing. If a person is in a CMU, according to Jaan, they will not be considered for parole. In other words, if they can put him in a CMU now, then they can keep him from coming up for parole.

Please share Jaan's situation and spread the news.

So Laaman's parole hearing is

So Laaman's parole hearing is December 2018. I was wondering when it was going to happen. Some websites said he was eligible this year. Thanks for the news.

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Jaan Karl Laaman

Picture: 

Jaan in library, arms crossed

Case: 

Birthday: 

Sunday, March 21, 1948

Status: 

Prison: 

Projected Release Date: 

Nov 14, 2038

Next Parole Hearing: 

June, 2018

Mailing Address: 

Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
United States

Movement: 

Support Group Facebook: 

PDF Brochure or Flier: