Friday, March 08, 2013

IWD Message from Political Prisoner Lynne Stewart

Radical human rights attorney Lynne Stewart has been falsely accused of helping terrorists. On Tuesday, April 9, 2002, she was arrested and agents searched her Manhattan office for documents. She was arraigned before Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl. This is an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense lawyers, and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government’s racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people.

Lynne Stewart, who was at the time 66 years old (she is now 73), received a 28-month sentence in October 2006. The government appealed the sentence, and in 2009 Lynne was sentence to 10 years in federal prison. While in prison, Lynne became ill; at this point she has stage 4 cancer, which has spread from the breast to the lungs and bones. She is now in a federal medical facility for women in Texas, thousands of miles away from her home, family and community.

The following is a message Lynne called in a few days ago, intended for International Women's Day:

This is a cry from deep in my soul on behalf of my sisters--abused, forgotten, made marginal.  We are always aware of our place on the rungs of the ladder of oppression based on race and class and  sex.

Since this needs be brief I want to first talk about sisters Indian--Asian and Native American.  It is the most difficult concept to conceive of the evil predatory communities these women on different sides of the world live in.  Rape is VIOLENCE not sex. It has been routine for men to absolutely do as they will without any fear of retribution legally.  There have been no courts to Prosecute, to PUNISH.  My first rejoinder is always to urge self-defense--that will always get a woman to Court.  But she may be the victim again.  Right now, the Congress has passed a "law" that we hope will protect Native Indian women here.  But there have been many "Laws".  There is greater hope in India where there has been a righteous female uprising that cannot,  will not be ignored.

Briefly I just want to mention -- women who are not in the cruel world but suffer behind bars -- cages, if you will.  Some of us are political --here because the Government has criminalized our actions or framed us -- I call out to you to Remember and  Cherish  Marie Mason, a "green warrior", Afiia Siddique " a heroine in her own Pakistan for her brave resistance", and also Me -- Still fighting, Still Struggling.  Still loving you all.

Love Struggle,
3/4/13;  9:40  am

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