[Pnews] Lynne Stewart in dire health - Send her love and support!
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Mar 6 10:15:26 EST 2017
Ralph Poynter told me the following very sad news tonight, and has
authorized me to distribute it publicly:
Our beloved People's Champion Lynne Stewart suffered a major stroke last
Wednesday, the latest complication from the cancer that has now spread
throughout her body and invaded her brain. She is resting comfortably at
home and is not in pain, but can only speak sporadically. Her doctor has
said she does not have much time left.
Ralph and Sister Betty Davis are of course taking good care of her, as
are her doctor-daughter Zenobia Brown and long-term friend of 63 years
Virginia Gernes. *Ralph welcomes your phone calls (at 917-853-9759) and
emails (at **ralph.poynter at gmail.com **).* Because of the high expense
of Lynne's care, Betty will soon be launching an online fundraising
campaign. Stay tuned.
I learned all this minutes after Ralph accepted an award for Lynne at a
major public event by the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, which
honored a large group of lawyers and doctors who have supported U.S.
political prisoners. As we know, for years Lynne went out of her way to
provide strong representation to a pantheon of dedicated radical
activists facing prison -- before she herself suffered a similar, cruel
Let's all send Lynne, Ralph & Betty our hugs, love, and best wishes for
this final journey. Such a heroic fighter - Lynne, we love you!
*Sister Betty Davis has posted the donation web page to help with
Lynne's personal needs. Please donate generously:**
Lynne F. Stewart, Lawyer for ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdel Rahman, Has No
Benjamin Weiser - FEB. 24, 2017
Ms. Stewart sought an early release from prison while serving a 10-year
for smuggling messages from the imprisoned Mr. Abdel Rahman, known as
the blind sheikh, to his followers in Egypt.
She had been found to have breast cancer, and in 2012, doctors at the
Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Fort Worth, said that the cancer
had spread to her lungs, lymph system and bones, according to court
papers filed by her lawyer.
Ms. Stewart said in a 12-page handwritten letter to the judge in 2013:
“Isolated, in hospital, as I now am, I have time to contemplate life and
death. I do not intend to go ‘gently into that good night,’ as Dylan
Thomas wrote. There is much to be done in this world. I do know that I
do not want to die here in prison — a strange and loveless place. I want
to be where all is familiar — in a word, home.”
The judge, John G. Koeltl of Federal District Court in Manhattan,
ultimately granted Ms. Stewart a compassionate release after a request
by the government, which said that she qualified for such release
because she had a terminal, incurable illness with a life expectancy of
less than 18 months, and because of the relatively limited risk, if she
were released, of recidivism and danger to the community.
Ms. Stewart was interviewed on Thursday in her living room in Brooklyn,
where she was joined by her husband, Ralph Poynter, and later that day
on the phone, one day after she had returned home from her latest
treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Doctors had told
her that she had suffered a “couple of strokes,” she said.
“I would say I’m on the upbeat,” Ms. Stewart said. “I’m lucky to have
Sloan Kettering.” Although she said that she was not happy about her
latest medical setback, she added, “These are things they can deal with,
and I expect them to deal with it, because I want to do still so many
wonderful things in this world for other people and for myself.”
She said that Mr. Abdel Rahman once joked with her that “he hoped that I
would become a Muslim because that was the only way I could be in heaven
“Paradise,” Mr. Poynter interjected.
“Paradise,” Ms. Stewart corrected herself. She said that she was
Ms. Stewart, who has been disbarred, had represented other notorious
clients but her career was inextricably linked to Mr. Abdel Rahman.
Mr. Abdel Rahman was convicted
in 1995 of plotting what prosecutors said was a campaign of urban terror
in the United States. They said it included the 1993 bombing of the
World Trade Center, which killed six people, and was to have included
targets like the United Nations and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.
Prosecutors said Mr. Abdel Rahman’s exhortations to his followers
amounted to directing the conspiracy.
Ms. Stewart had argued that her client’s fiery sermons were protected
under the First Amendment. But a federal appeals court said, “his
speeches were not simply the expression of ideas; in some instances they
constituted the crime of conspiracy to wage war on the United States.”
Andrew C. McCarthy, the lead prosecutor of Mr. Abdel Rahman and his
co-defendants, said on Thursday: “The blind sheikh was neither an
American nor a hero — he was the antithesis of both. He would have been
offended at the former suggestion, and all civilized people at the latter.”
Mr. Abdel Rahman died
at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina at 78. A
prison spokesman said the cause was complications of diabetes and
coronary artery disease.
An exhibit in the federal courthouse at 40 Foley Square commemorating
the 125th anniversary of the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit includes a display of major terrorism appeals that were
heard there. Ms. Stewart’s case — and her photograph — are prominently
displayed, with cases like those of Mr. Abdel Rahman; Ramzi Ahmed
Yousef, who carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and four
Qaeda operatives who conspired in the 1998 bombings of two American
embassies in East Africa.
“I definitely don’t think I should be up there,” Ms. Stewart said, when
told of the exhibit. “I’m a nothing in this whole thing.”
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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