Civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart has died at 77 from complications of cancer and a series of strokes. Stewart had made appearances with our allies at Burning Books in Buffalo, NY.
Lynne was a committed radical attorney who unfortunately became a political prisoner herself. Burning Books had the pleasure of hosting Lynne and her husband Ralph just under two years ago. Rest in Power, Lynne!
Democracy Now! also reported on Lynne’s passing, noting that she was “known as a people’s lawyer who represented the poor and revolutionaries.”
Many considered her a political prisoner herself when she was given a 10-year sentence for distributing press releases on behalf of one of her clients, Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric known as the “blind Sheikh,” who was convicted of conspiring to blow up the United Nations and other New York City landmarks. He died in February.
While held in federal prison for nearly four years, Stewart suffered from stage IV breast cancer that metastasized. She was given 18 months to live. After months of campaigning, a federal judge ordered her “compassionate release,” and on New Year’s Day 2014, Democracy Now! was at the airport when she triumphantly returned to New York with her husband, Ralph Poynter, and was met by her family and friends.
Lynne Stewart Interview with Chris Hedges at Truth Out