Compassionate release for Lynne Stewart now!

Listen to Ralph Poynter, Lynne Stewart’s husband, discuss their lives, Lynne’s condition and what must be done in an interview with Professor Walter Turner on KPFA’s Africa Today:

by Lynne Stewart

A worldwide embrace to all of the thousands of people who helped me [by signing the petition for her compassionate release – to sign, go to]! As my hero said, we are motivated by great feelings of love and compassion, and I am fortunate to be the beneficiary this time around.

Lynne-Stewart-embraces-Ralph-Poynter-before-surrendering-for-prison-at-fed-court-111909-by-AP, Compassionate release for Lynne Stewart now!, Abolition Now! To savor this victory, you all should know that the Carswell Prison authorities kept telling me “it can’t be done.” You don’t qualify. Why bother? Wait till you are closer to death!

To all of them I replied that I have been fighting battles like this all my life and I would never quit. Then I had this white blood cell setback, making me super-vulnerable and was quarantined for a week. I was released on Friday to learn that indeed “the children had shouted” and the walls “did come a-tumblin’ down” [when the warden of her prison conceded that he would not oppose compassionate release]. I must say that I was in a state of bliss. Not just to win but to accomplish it in the time honored method! We will organize the people and you dare not ignore us!

I owe an enormous debt to so many. This is the one we had to win where the medical decision was made that compassionate release was warranted. That cannot be trifled with, BUT we who have been out here struggling from the ‘50s onward know that the government is masterful at co-optation, at snatching victory and making it defeat.

Please do not think that my struggle is WON. We have this fabulous win, but we still have the D.C. Federal Bureau of Prisons – if there ever was a time to hold Obama’s feet to the fire, this is it – and then their forwarding of the case to the judge in New York for a final decision. Yes, he’s the same one who increased my original sentence from 28 months to 10 years!

Ralph-Poynter-leads-march-rally-for-Lynne-Stewart-on-her-71st-bday-outside-her-NYC-prison-100810-by-John-Catalinotto-WW, Compassionate release for Lynne Stewart now!, Abolition Now! So please, please, please do not let us rest on our laurels. Until my feet are planted like the tree that grows in Brooklyn, and I am among my family, friends and comrades and plunged back into the struggle once more, we must continue. Fight on!

Lynne sends her appreciation to petition signers

I want you, individually, to know how gratifying and happy it makes me to have your support. It is uplifting, to say the least, and after a lifetime of organizing it proves once again that the people can rise.

The acknowledgement of the life political – and solutions brought about by group unity and support – is important to all of us. Equally so is the courage to sign on to a demand for a person whom the government has branded with the “T” word: Terrorist.

Understanding that the attack on me is a subterfuge for an attack on all lawyers who advocate without fear of government displeasure, with intellectual honesty guided by their knowledge and their client’s desire for his or her case, I hope our effort can be a crack in the American bastion. Thank you.

Go to to sign the petition for compassionate release that nearly 14,000 people have signed so far and that persuaded the warden to no longer oppose compassionate release. And please spread the word to help save Lynne’s life! Ralph Poynter can be reached at

Editor’s note: Lynne wrote this from her bed at Carswell Federal Medical Center. She’s now so weak she can rarely sit up, so writing is very difficult. Because for her treatments at an outside hospital, she’s shackled with 10 pounds of chains in transit and handcuffed to the bed and under armed guard constantly while there, she’s relatively relieved to be in the prison hospital, where she’s not tied down. This information and more is in a powerful interview with Lynne’s husband, Ralph Poynter, by Professor Walter Turner broadcast on Africa Today on Monday, April 29, at