How did I miss — Lynne Stewart’s birthday reflections?
“I believe I am one of an historical progression that maintains the struggle to change the perverted political landscape that is the U.S. It seems that being a political prisoner must be used as a means of focusing people’s attention on the continuing atrocities around them. Nothing seems to be too shocking or corrupt to blast the complacency. Like my client Richard Williams used to say, I might think I hadn’t been doing my utmost if they didn’t believe I was dangerous enough to be locked up!” [Lynne Stewart, September 5, 2011]
Excerpts, minor edit by Carolyn Bennett
AMONG THE BRAVEST AND TRUEST AMONG US, rights attorney Lynne Stewart wrote this from prison as she approached her 72nd year.
“…In order that my Prison Readers shouldn’t think that I have mellowed, I must say that if Amy [Goodman of Democracy Now] is to be trusted, the Wall Street occupation looks like it has some legs — whether those legs are reformist or radical, we will see.”
A MONTH EARLIER, Lynne Stewart reflected on universal rights and the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, abuse of power and human rights advocacy.
“… The Bill delineates the ways that Government may not encroach on our ability to operate freely. It is a prohibition on the Government limiting free speech, religion, the right to bear arms, and the right to free assembly. It delineates the rights within the legal system.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees fundamental human entitlements—freedom from hunger, freedom from fear, freedom to choose, freedom to live in an environment that doesn’t kill us, and our children.
“We obviously fight for more than the political guarantee to be free of government interference—it is to be able to live an open and generous and contributing life toward the betterment of people on the entire planet.
“…Advocating for human rights must always delineate that our struggle is not one of ‘self interest.’ It is a fight for all of us.
“This raises the always-troubling question of the recognition that for some this may mean sacrificing their entitlements (i.e. skin privilege, class privilege) to better others’ lives. Nobody wants to give up what they feel that they have achieved legitimately, ‘within the system.’
“But without the recognition that one has benefited unfairly by the unwritten ‘code’ that has favored certain groups over others, change cannot occur.”
LYNNE STEWART CONTINUES her birthday message considering resistance movements.
“I don’t think we can look forward to parading out the Banksters and Goldman Sachs to face ‘Peoples Justice’ just yet but there seems to be a spark and that gladdens my Heart.
“I will be 72 on the 8th — the day of the Heroic Guerilla, the day they killed Che — [and] I still hold strongly to my beliefs, my love of the people and that there will be redemption from the nightmare with which we are all struggling.
“I wish you all a Happy Birthday. Struggle ON!”
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Human Rights Coalition Interview with Lynne Stewart, September 5, 2011, Interview with Lynne Stewart by Patricia Vickers, Human Rights Coalition, http://lynnestewart.org/2011/09/05/human-rights-coalition-interview-with...
Further excerpt: Lynne Stewart
“There are two aspects to my ‘situation’ …
“First, I was prosecuted for doing what I believe is the duty and work of an attorney—to represent the client zealously and conscientiously. In the case of the original trial (1995) of the blind Sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman, of Egypt, we wanted to keep his name alive so that we could eventually try to negotiate a return for him even if it meant jail in Egypt. In that spirit I made a press release public, and to Reuters, expressing his point of view on a unilateral cease fire then in effect in Egypt. I believed that this was part of salvaging him from the torture of his solitary confinement and also that it was part of the work I had sworn to do. I was tried and found guilty for materially aiding ‘terrorism.’
“After I received a sentence of two-and-one-half-years, as opposed to the 30 years the government wanted, on appeal, the Second Circuit Court sent the case back for the Judge to give me more time. Without much ado, he sentenced me then to ten years, partially based upon statements I made after the sentencing and before I surrendered in November 2009. That sentencing is currently on appeal and will be argued in the fall in New York City.”
Lynne Irene Stewart b. October 8, 1939 now in prison is an attorney who represented poor and often unpopular defendants.
In 2005, a U.S. court convicted Lynne Stewart on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to ‘terrorists’ and sentenced her to 28 months in prison. The felony conviction of helping pass messages from her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric convicted of planning terror attacks, to his followers in al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, an organization designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States Secretary of State meant government revocation of Stewart’s license to practice law.
On July 15, 2010, the court re-sentenced Lynne Stewart to 10 years in prison; current location FMC Carswell, Fort Worth, Texas. Edited from Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynne_Stewart_Trial
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