The ‘compassion’ of empire: Herman and Lynne await

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Several years ago, the global human rights group Amnesty International issued an extraordinary appeal to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to grant compassionate release to 72-year-old former Black Panther and political prisoner Herman Wallace, who has recently been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, after losing some 50 pounds in less than six months.

Herman-Wallace-0713-web1, The ‘compassion’ of empire: Herman and Lynne await, Abolition Now! Wallace is one of two remaining imprisoned members of the Angola 3, who, with Albert Woodfox (and the recently released Robert King), have spent over 40 years in solitary and thus are among the longest held political prisoners on earth.

The men were falsely convicted of murder when in fact they were actually guilty of nothing more than what prison administrators called “Black Pantherism” – or having the sheer audacity to organize a chapter of the Black Panther Party – in Angola prison!

For this, for daring to rebel on the very grounds of a former slave plantation, the Angola 3 were framed, thrown into the deepest hole in Louisiana – and, hopefully, forgotten.

Thanks to their supporters, this was not to be.

In fact, tens of thousands are campaigning for Herman’s release – and the same should be done for Albert Woodfox as well.

In another Southern state, peoples attorney Lynne Stewart, too, is fighting the ravages of cancer, and her loyal, loving husband, former Panther Ralph Poynter, has staged a one-man protest in front of the White House, not only to dramatize the injustice his wife has suffered, but to push for compassionate release, lest his wife die alone in an icy jail cell in Texas.

Ralph-Poynter-Lynne-Stewart, The ‘compassion’ of empire: Herman and Lynne await, Abolition Now! Lynne and Ralph ran – for over 30 years – a law firm of last resort, for the poor, working-class and political people who stood up to and resisted the Empire.

Now, in connection with the Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, Lynne allegedly broke a facially unconstitutional prison rule, and this became the pretext for jailing and disbarring one of the finest lawyers ever to walk the streets of the Big Apple.

For this, 73-year-old Lynne Stewart was consigned to her own hole – in essence a death sentence.

Ralph’s fight for Lynne’s life is your fight.

Herman Wallace’s fight is your fight.

If you join in and support it with your strength, you can insure that they breathe the air of freedom again.

Learn how you can help at and

© Copyright 2013 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read Mumia’s latest book, “The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America,” co-authored by Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill, available from Third World Press, Keep updated at For Mumia’s commentaries, visit For recent interviews with Mumia, visit Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.