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Welcome home Lynne Stewart!

By staff

Lynne Stewart speaking in San Jose, CA

San José, CA – On Saturday, May 3rd, more than 60 people gathered at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in San José for a reception and program with Lynne Stewart organized by the South Bay Committee Against Political Repression with a generous donation of food for the reception from the National Lawyer’s Guild. The event raised more than $1100 to help with the health costs of Lynne Stewart who is battling cancer.

Long-time attorney, Lynne Stewart, had been imprisoned on a bogus ‘material support’ for terrorism charge, for her work defending an Egyptian cleric.

While the audience was gathering for the program, a taped message from Mumia Abu-Jamal was played, welcoming the release of Lynne Stewart. The program was opened by Masao Suzuki of the SBCAPR, who had been visited by the FBI in September 2010 at the same time that antiwar and international solidarity activists in the Midwest were being raided by the FBI and subpoenaed to a Federal Grand Jury. Karen Wald then read a solidarity statement from the Cuba 5 for Mumia and Stewart.

The first speaker was Ramona Africa, coordinator of MOVE, whose headquarter was bombed by the Philadelphia police in 1985. The bombing killed 11 MOVE members, including five children, and burned down an entire block of about 60 homes. She spoke about the MOVE 9, who have been unjustly imprisoned since 1978 for the death of police officer.

Jeff Mackler of he Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, spoke about Mumia who had been on death row from thirty years, before finally having the death sentence dropped in 2012. He said that the struggle to free Mumia continues. Ralph Pointer, Lynne Stewart’s husband, thanked the audience for their support in the struggle to free Lynne Stewart and then Dan Carpenter of the National Lawyer’s Guild introduced Lynne Stewart.

Lynne Stewart said that coming home from prison was a victory, and that “I am going to keep fighting so others can go home.” She stated that she had a special concern for women prisoners, who often were separated from their children. Lynne Stewart also spoke out for political prisoners in the United States, and urged the audience to go to the website of the National Jericho Movement to learn more about how to support political prisoners in the United States.

Following the speakers there was a question and answer period. Pam Africa of MOVE also came to the event but was not feeling up to speaking.

The San José event was part of a Bay Area tour with events in San Francisco, Oakland, San Rafael, and Sacramento sponsored by the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee, and KPFA.

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