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Lynne Stewart - CALL WASHINGTON EVERY DAY

 
The warden at Carswell State prison has submitted an application for the compassionate release of Lynne Stewart over two weeks ago, yet Washington is deliberately stalling and thus far has refused to move. The harsh cold reality is that they know that every second that they postpone her release, the chances for her surviving Stage IV breast cancer (which has now spread throughout her chest, lungs and lymph nodes) diminishes significantly. We cannot let them do this.
 
DEMAND THAT THEY RELEASE HER NOW! CALL AND EMAIL OBAMA, HOLDER AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS EVERY DAY!
 
Time is of the essence now.

Below is an open letter to Obama and Holder from the Black is Back Coalition demanding her release. Please distribute widely and send/email copies to your congressional representatives.
 

CALL: Attorney General Eric Holder - 1 202 514 2001
CALL: White House President Obama – 1 202 456 1414
CALL: Federal Bureau of Prisons – Director Charles Samuels – 1 202-307-3250
 
 
Here are email addresses you can write to:

Attorney General Eric Holder: usdoj@service.govdelivery.com
The Department of Justice general email:
AskDOJ@usdoj.gov
Obama: president@whitehouse.gov

 

 

 

 

 
 
OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA
                                                                    
 
From:
Black is Back Coalition
1329 Stevens Rd SE
Washington, DC 20020
 
 
To:
Barack Obama
President
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW  
Washington, DC 20500
 
 
The Black is Back Coalition (BIBC) joins the thousands of voices worldwide who are calling for the immediate, just and compassionate release of the people's freedom fighter and zealous advocate for justice, attorney Lynne Stewart.
 
We are an organization committed to the liberation of African people the world over and as such we proudly embrace the glorious history of the Black liberation struggle, which is synonymous with courageously standing up against injustice anywhere. And with the recent establishment of our health working group, we seek to challenge head on the US practice of using its for profit healthcare system as a form of warfare to exact genocide, torture, and political subterfuge against oppressed people and anyone it views as a threat to its imperialist designs. (From infecting native populations with diseases, to performing lobotomies on protestors engaged in civil unrest, to unleashing diseased mosquitoes on communities of color, this country’s history is replete with examples of how this government engages in medical warfare).
 
And now the imprisonment of Lynne Stewart brings much needed attention to how it is often used as a death sentence for political prisoners.
 
To be clear, Lynne Stewart’s imprisonment in and of itself is unjust. She has broken no laws and has not committed crimes.  Rather she is in prison for fighting to make the constitution a reality for all people and for her beliefs that everyone has the right to a rigorous defense. In 1993 she represented Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, who was accused of plotting to blow up US landmarks, as well as planning to assassinate then Senator Alphonse D'Amato and former U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali.
 
Imprisoned, blind and in solitary confinement, much of his way of communicating was completely shut off.  In an attempt to completely isolate him from the outside world, prison authorities implemented unconstitutional restrictions, known as SAMS, in which attorneys were required to agree to not disseminate information pertaining to their clients. This was designed to create a highly inflammatory and prejudicial environment toward them whereby prosecutors could disseminate propaganda to the press about their cases, but their defense attorneys were denied the right to use the press to advocate on the client’s behalf. Lynne Stewart chose to defy the  SAMS and issued a press statement about the Sheikh's views regarding events in Egypt.
 
The SAMS are not laws! They are merely administrative rules issued by the prison. And prior to and after Lynne’s arrest, violating them carried no legal consequences. Attorneys would usually be denied access to their clients until the matter was resolved.
 
In fact attorneys Ramsey Clark and Abdeen Jabara, while working on the same case as Lynne, also violated their SAMS agreement. But in the post 9/11 climate your administration and Bush’s chose to selectively and relentlessly go after only Lynne Stewart. Moreover, after 9/11 there were other attorneys who also violated SAMS and Court Orders who the government did not persue. Consider Julia Tarvers Mason, a corporate attorney working for the Wall Street firm of Paul,Weiss, etal,  who while representing Guantanomo detainees, defied court orders by handing her clients Amnesty International political brochures. Other attorneys working for corporate law firms gave the detainees maps of the detention centers, that included the guard towers, as well as posting photos of security badges on the internet. And yet the Department of Justice did nothing (for more information on this see Ralph Poynter’s excellent article, “Lynne Stewart and the Guantanamo Lawyers: Same Fact Patterns, Same Opponent, Different Endings?”)
 
In pointing out these actions by other attorneys the Black is Back Coalition is not taking the position that these attorneys should be sanctioned or prosecuted. Instead, we bring out these cases to expose the hypocrisy of this government and its targeting of attorneys with progressive politics who dare to challenge the injustices of this society.  Lynne Stewart has made it her life’s work to challenge such injustices. Her clients have ranged from the many poor people caught in the criminal justice system due to the racist economics of society, to political defendants such as members of the Black Panther Party, the Black Liberation Army, the United Freedom Front, Larry Davis (an African American who was acquitted of the attempted murder of two NY Police Officers in a well publicized case of  police brutality), and Muslims being unjustly targeted by the DOJ. When one considers Lynne Stewart’s political ideologies and the fact that other attorneys have violated SAMS and court orders with impunity, it is clear that she is being prosecuted because of those that she has chosen to represent. America clearly was founded on words that have different meanings for different groups of people and the victims  of genocide and slavery are not to be included in their declarations of piety and justice. Lynne Stewart is a truth teller and defender of just causes and is a clear threat to this government’s imperialist designs.
 
Although convicted of aiding and abetting terrorism in the hysterical aftermath of 9/11, Judge Koettl took into consideration her life's work of championing the rights of the disenfranchised. He also took into consideration her age, the fact that she had no criminal record, that she had not taken any actions that caused anyone harm, and just as  importantly, that she  that she had already survived a bout of breast cancer. He therefore sentenced her to 28 months and granted her bail. But not to be out done by Bush, under your administration the second circuit judges pressured Koeltl into reversing his decision and in 2009, with full knowledge of her life's work and life threatening medical condition, he sentenced her at the age of 70 to 10 years in prison.
 
While she is staying at  Carswell, a  prison that is supposed to have contracts with the best “medical facilities,” the state has deliberately put barriers in the way of her getting proper and timely treatment, knowing the risks of the cancer not only reoccurring, but advancing.   In a blatant display of aggression and  utter contempt for common decency, upon sentencing the state forced postponement of her much needed surgery for 18 months.   And when the growth of more tumors were discovered, prison officials maliciously prevented her from receiving treatment by an oncologist for four more months. (Under normal circumstances, for non-incarcerated individuals, she would have seen the oncologist within a couple of weeks, if not days.) Subsequently her cancer has metastasized and has now spread to her lymph nodes, her shoulder, her bones and her lungs. And this Coalition asserts that this is in no small part due to the deliberateness of the prison system.
 
And to make matters even more egregious, whenever she visits her doctors, she is forced to walk in chains with 10 lb of weights around her ankles and waist, thus severely burdening and taxing her already frail body even more.
 
Under the 1984 Sentencing Act, after a prisoner’s request, the Bureau of Prisons can file a motion for the compassionate release of prisoners for “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances. Certainly, stage 4 breast cancer that has spread all throughout a person’s body meets that requirement. We therefore call for the immediate release of Lynne Stewart to the loving care of her family, whereby she can immediately receive holistic, integrative healthcare which combines allopathic procedures with a highly nutritional regimen. This is her best hope. Denying her compassionate release is state sanctioned murder.
 
Furthermore we maintain that healthcare is a right and that all prisoners should have timely access to naturopathic, as well as allopathic options.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Lisa Davis, Chair of Healthcare Working Group, BIBC
 
 cc:       Attorney General Eric Holder
            Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels
            U.N. Secretary Gen Ban
            The House Judiciary Committee
            The Senate Judiciary Committee Members
            Members of the Press
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