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In Memory-Farewell Brother Riegle

By John Perrotti

On January 10, 1992, our bother Mike Riegle succumbed to his 2-year struggle with the AIDS virus. Mike was a strong supporter of the prisoner and gay rights struggle, and for more than ten years put out the outstanding prison page section of the national Gay Community News. Mike also joined the Prison Book Program, in Jamaica Plain, Mass., eight years ago and used his wide-ranging connections to assist in funding and establishing a "How To Manual" to assist others in developing prison book programs.

I met Mike years ago, during one of our hunger strikes. He was always supportive of our struggles for better conditions in the gulags, probably because Mike had seen the inside himself. He was always there for us, be it to provide books, funds or moral support. I amongst many will sorely miss him. But Mike's spirit of resistance will live on. Farewell Brother, until we meet for the next battle.

[Editor's Note: I became acquainted with Mike Riegle during the late 1970s though correspondence. We wrote to each other for years. He saw to it that many of my articles were printed in the Gay Community News. When my friends and I had special prison-related projects we needed mentioned, he would inform his inside contacts though GCN's "prison page." Mike was also a contributor to and supporter of the PLN. But on top of that, even through our communications with each other had dropped off in recent years, he was nonetheless a close personal friend, one I counted myself as lucky to have. Mike's passing will be a loss not only to me, but to prisoners everywhere. He will live on in my fondest memories; not only as good friend, but also as a dedicated comrade to all oppressed prisoners. Mike's memory will not be forgotten; his name will live on through the unfolding dynamic of our struggle. -Ed Mead]

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