EDITOR’S NOTE: This message comes from the New York Jericho Organization, announcing the transition to the Ancestors of Lynne Stewart, human rights attorney, who defended political activists, dissenters and the wrongly accused, as well as those charged by the US government with crimes such as sedition and terrorism. Her dedication to providing a proper defense to her clients earned her the respect of the activist community, as well as the ire of hard-core members of the law enforcement community. Here, we share the announcement from the New York Jericho Organization, as well as a news article about her passing and brief tributes from several of the people whose lives she has touched.
New York Jericho Movement
It is with tremendous sadness that we tell you that our beloved Lynne Stewart passed on peacefully tonight around 6 PM at home with Ralph and other family members. Funeral arrangements have not yet been set – we’ll keep you posted. Please continue to donate to the fund to help with the many care-taking expenses Ralph has had to bear: https://www.generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/financial-appeal-for-lynne-stewart-health-crisis
We love you, Lynne! Thank you for all you gave to oppressed peoples and freedom fighters! As Joan Gibbs wrote tonight, “Rest in peace, power and love, my dear sister Lynne Stewart.” Please send your fierce love and hugs to our dear Ralph at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tributes for Lynne Stewart
Here are just a few of the many Facebook tributes that have been pouring in, followed by an account on the Venezuelan Telesur TV site.
Elizabeth Hook I have known a hero in my lifetime, I have laughed with and cried with and shared the righteous rage with a hero. I got to hug a hero, stand at her wedding and find shelter in her home. See her babies grow up and eat pie with her. She casts no shadows, only light now. A woman who gave herself to struggle for decades. A heart, a strong and loving heart that beat so hard for so many, death cannot stop it. Her spirit goes to the reward for loving warriors, there is a significant part of her city, and the nation and beyond that, who feels this loss tonight. Oh captain, my captain.
Orie Lumumba PRESENTE THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR THE PEOPLE I LOVE YOU ALWAYS REST IN PEACE LYNNE STEWART
Greg Butterfield Comrade Lynne Stewart, presente! Sad news on the eve of International Women’s Day: revolutionary soldier, political prisoner, people’s attorney Lynne Stewart has passed. When we smash the bosses’ courts, when we tear down the prison walls and the real dragons fly out, Lynne will be with us. Solidarity to Ralph and family. We’ve got your back.
Bret Grote, Abolitionist Law Center Rest in Power Lynne Stewart. People’s Lawyer. An inspiration and bright fire in dark times.
Daniel McGowan she was always so kind to me. Came to support events when I was inside, made it a point to send me encouraging emails. such a sweetheart.
Leslie Radford A true revolutionary, one who stood up to the federal government and went to prison for our right to representation, has passed.
Tábana Siempre Thank you, Lynne Stewart for your support for Oscar López Rivera and all political prisoners!
Lynne Stewart, Lifelong Fighter and People’s Lawyer, Dies
7 March 2017
Stewart, originally sentenced to 28 months in prison, was resentenced on July 10, 2010, to 10 years in prison, but continued to fight a government frame-up. After suffering a major stroke on March 1, Lynne Stewart died Tuesday evening at home, after being granted a compassionate release from prison three years ago due to fourth-stage breast cancer. Stewart devoted her law practice to defending the poor, underprivileged, unwanted and forgotten, according to her partner Ralph Poynter.
The human rights attorney was arrested on April 9, 2002, on charges of helping pass messages from her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric convicted of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center attack in New York City, to his followers in al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, an organization designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Stewart was subsequently convicted for conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists, while her felony conviction led to her automatic disbarment.
Her sentence was characterized by many as an attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense by lawyers, instill fear in those who seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people.
Attorney Leonard Weinglass, said of her incarceration, “The Lynne Stewart case is the case that’s going to mark this era as the era of the war on terrorists, which includes the war on lawyers who defend those who are accused of terrorism. To put her behind bars when no one was injured, no one was harmed, when those who produced the torture memos, those who produced the war are going free and even prospering is really the irony of our time.”
Stewart fought false accusations and a government frame-up. Originally sentenced to 28 months in prison, she was resentenced on July 10, 2010 — in an unprecedented move after her bail was suddenly revoked — to 10 years in prison for showing an alleged lack of remorse after her initial sentencing.
In a statement after her release on Dec. 31, 2013, Poynter said, “The enduring global movement for social justice has persevered — ever inspired by Lynne Stewart’s steadfast refusal to bend the knee, submit to coercion or official duplicity.”