Free Lynne Stewart
I met Lynne Stewart and her husband Ralph Poynter in 2005 at San Francisco State University years ago--even before I went to Crawford in the summer of 2005.
I have called Lynne "Atticus Finch in the flesh." Lynne has been in a federal medical facility at Carswell in Ft. Worth after having her sentence extended to 10 years a couple of years ago. What was Lynne's crime? Like Atticus Finch, she believed that every person deserves, not just the appearance of having a defense, but a vigorous defense when she agreed to former AG, Ramsey Clark's, request to join the defense team of the "Blind Sheik."
There is more information at Lynne's website and in this interview I did with Ralph here on the Soapbox, but to bring everyone up to date, Lynne is dying from cancer which is in its 4th stage, now. Doctors at Carswell have given her 18-24 months to live and she has petitioned for compassionate release. Lynne could be anyone's grandma, but she has children, grandchildren and great grandchildren that deserve to have her presence in the last months of her life. Besides all that, Lynne never did anything wrong--she is just another in the long line of political prisoners that this disgraceful nation has detained in its own arrogance and cruelty.
On June 21, Tour de Peace and I had the honor of joining Lynne's husband, and lifelong partner in the struggle, in front of the Ugly House to vigil for Lynne. Ralph said that he will be there until "Lynne is released or dies" and he and Lynne deserve our support. The couple and their devotion to each other and humanity inspire me every day in this very tough line of work I have found myself.
|Cindy and Ralph|
Tour de Peace is, as of this writing, 79 days into a 90 day cycling trip across this nation--although grateful for the many friends we have made along the way and for hundreds of fabulous experiences, I am growing weary and frustrated with the lack of support the Tour has been getting. Biking 3500 miles isn't easy for anyone, let alone a 55 year old grandmother of four!
I was especially down the other day thinking of all the sleep I am missing having to stay on a different bed or floor every day and how much I miss my family back home and especially my four grandbabies, when I reflected on Lynne's story and how lucky I really am to see light at the end of the tunnel. Although due to my activism, my stays at home are brief, at least I get to go home and sleep in my own bed. I am not chained to any bed and almost every day I get to hop on my bike and zoom to the next place!
Soon, I will be shopping at my local farmer's market after biking there and loading up my bike's basket with fresh fruit and produce and being grateful for my excellent health and strength.
Why does Lynne inspire me? Because through all of her unnecessary sufferings, she always has a smile and her face and love in her heart for everyone.
I want her released today--she is not a threat to her community, but by her unwavering example of courage and love, she is a threat to the status quo.
Stay strong Lynne--we will never forget!
|Cindy and Lynne and unidentified woman. 2007|