Minneapolis, MN – I first met Lynne Stewart, and her husband Ralph Poynter, in the summer of 2008 at an anti-war conference in Ohio. When I met the famed “people’s lawyer,” she was in the midst of appealing her conviction for the bogus crime of vigorously defending her client. Lynne was humble and warm, and didn’t seem to notice that I was star struck as she signed on in support of the anti-war march I was organizing at the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul the coming September.
New York, NY – Over 35 people gathered at the historic Riverside Church in Harlem, Feb. 13 to show solidarity with Rasmea Odeh. Odeh is a 68-year-old Arab American Chicago community organizer and women’s leader. She faces sentencing for an immigration violation in Detroit on March 12. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. prosecutors singled her out because of her political views and activity opposing wars and military occupations.
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.
Minneapolis, MN – On Feb. 15, a panel called, “Victories in Resistance, Solidarity Against Injustice” was organized by the Minnesota Anti-War Committee (AWC) to celebrate newly-won freedom and to reflect on how to do political prisoner solidarity which builds our movements.
Minneapolis, MN – Jess Sundin, a spokesperson of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and an anti-war leader, hailed the Dec. 31 release of jailed attorney Lynne Stewart. Sundin stated, “People's attorney, Lynne Stewart, is a hero who was imprisoned for doing the right thing. She has always stood up for the oppressed and this is why people around the world have been speaking up to demand her freedom. After countless letters, phone calls and protests, we are overjoyed that Lynne's freedom has finally been won. I am so happy she's finally home with her family today. May this be the first of many freedoms in 2014.”
_Leonard Peltier and other political prisoners send messages of support _
Washington, DC – 50 people gathered at Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, July 12, to demand compassionate release for Lynne Stewart. Music and speakers rallied the crowd, reaching thousands of passersby at this busy square during evening rush hour. Undaunted by rain, protesters passed out hundreds of flyers and collected petition signatures urging the release of Stewart, imprisoned on bogus terrorism charges for her work as a defense attorney. Although Stewart has stage four cancer and qualifies for early release based on compassionate grounds, the Bureau of Prisons has refused to release her.
Minneapolis, MN – In an effort to build support for the compassionate release of Lynne Stewart from prison, a delegation of community leaders met with staff at the office of Congressman Keith Ellison on June 20.
New York, NY – Jess Sundin, of the Committee to Stop FBI repression, spoke on a panel at the Left Forum here, June 8. Entitled the “Targeted killings of Americans on American soil: the story of Lynne Stewart, political prisoners and all progressive struggles in America.” The panel included Ralph Poynter, husband of jailed people’s lawyer Lynn Stewart and a leader of her defense committee. Also speaking was Ricardo Jimenez and Luis Rosa, fighters for Puerto Rico’s independence who served long prison sentences, Sue Udry of the Defending Dissent Foundation, Reverend Pinkney, Pam Africa, and others.
Lynne Stewart, a heroic and long-time progressive lawyer, is serving a ten-year prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas for ‘material support of terrorism,’ after serving as defense attorney for Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. On June 9 Fight Back! spoke with her husband, Ralph Poynter, about her case. Poynter is a Black community leader and retired New York City teacher.
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. The statement was delivered by Sue Udry, of Defending Dissent Foundation at a March 8 press conference, at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. The purpose of the press conference was urge support two women political prisoners, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and attorney Lynne Stewart.