Message from Dick Gregory in Celebration of the birthday of Lynne Stewart, October 8, 2013
Sisters and Brothers,
SIx months and four days ago, on April 4, 2013, I made a commitment to refuse all solid food “until Lynne Stewart is freed and receives medical treatment in the care of her family and with physicians of her choice without which she will die.”
It is a measure of the duplicity and brazen contempt for the law on the part of the Justice Department and those in power in the United States that the human rights of Lynne Stewart have been so cruelly defiled.
As we have seen with Herman Wallace, there is no injustice that shames or inhibits the powerful in their exploitative abuse of the great majority of our people. This vast prison apparatus is itself an instrument of terror.
It is Lynne Stewart’s role as a llfe-long defender of the oppressed and the abandoned that marks her as an enemy of the State.
Her real crime is her humanity and her punishment is designed to be an object lesson to us all.
The real agenda of the persecutors of Lynne Stewart is unmistakable. Our efforts to expose it have enabled Lynne’s application for Compassionate Release and the international petition in its support to galvanize people of conscience. Over 30,000 signed the first petition and the moral resonance of its appeal has been given expression widely by people and organizations who oppose injustice.
And yet Lynne Stewart is not free. The Stage Four Cancer that advances in her lungs and lymph nodes has compelled acknowledgement by the Warden in FMS Carswell and his prison medical staff. Their recommendation for Compassionate Release is a tribute as well to the Report by Human Rights Watch and the testimony before Congress by Michael Horowitz, Inspector General of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
In spite of the indisputable medical evidence of the terminal nature of Lynne’s cancer, Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons remains guilty of what Jesuits call “invincible ignorance.”
in the face of the indisputable medical record and the urgings of the “finders of fact” at the federal prison where Lynne is held, the Federal Bureau of Prisons denied her Compassionate Release claiming that her health “was improving.”
For months now, this blatant falsification of the medical record by the Federal Bureau of Prisons has been publicized the world over. It has been presented to Judge John Koeltl, the sentencing judge. It has been corroborated by international legal and medical bodies.
The truth has aroused the conscience of growing number of people made aware of a vindictive State engaged in judicial murder.
Compelled anew by the findings of such international organizations as Lawyers Rights Watch Canada and the medical record itself, prison doctors themselves now acknowledge that Lynne Stewart has a life expectancy that can be measured in months.
I am sustained by the humor, humanity and indomitable will of Lynne Stewart.
May we be worthy of her nobility of spirit as we fight on to set her free.