Anti-Imperialist

David Gilbert

American radical organizer, author and prisoner David Gilbert was a founding member of Columbia University Students for a Democratic Society and member of The Weather Underground Organization. Following ten years underground he was arrested with members of the Black Liberation Army and other radicals following a botched armored car robbery in 1981. He is now a well-known prisoner serving time in upstate New York.

Personal Background

Virgin Island 3

The Virgin Island Five (aka Fountain Valley Five) are group of activists wrongly convicted of murdering eight people at the Rockefeller-owned golf course in St. Croix. They were all in their early twenties when they were rounded up with hundreds of others and forced confessions were obtained. Because now only three of the original five--Abdul Azzez, Hanif Bey, and Malik Bey-- are held in prison over 40 years later, they are referred to as the Virgin Island 3. Due to their advanced age, they have a variety of chronic health conditions that are difficult to manage in prison.

Hanif Shabazz Bey (Beaumont Gereau)

Hanif is one of the Virgin Island 3 serving 8 consecutive life sentences after being tortured into a false confession, then wrongly imprisoned since 2001 when his sentence was vacated. He was 22 at the time of his arrest in 1972. After decades in prison, he has ongoing health issues that he is not being adequately treated for including diagnostic testing on his liver that was ordered by a physician in 2017 but has yet to be done.

Jaan Karl Laaman

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

Abdul Azeez (Warren Ballentine)

Abdul is one of the Virgin Island 3 serving 8 consecutive life sentences after being tortured into a false confession then wrongly imprisoned since 2001 when his sentence was vacated. He was 23 at the time of his arrest in 1972. Now in his 60s, he has several chronic health issues that are difficult to treat inside prison. He has support within the Virgin Islands and mainland U.S. should he be granted clemency like his former codefendant Rafael Joseph was in 1994.

Note: His ID# that must appear on the envelope if writing a letter is #16-047

Abdelhaleem Ashqar, Dr.

A Palestinian nationalist who has fought for the liberation both in Palestine and here in the US.  Jurors acquitted Ashqar of racketeering conspiracy, but was still sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury that was investigating money-laundering and non-profits funding “terrorist” organizations.  These charges are broad sweeping and are the same types of charges being brought against Dr. Dhafir.  He was released on June 13, 2017.

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