Monday, December 7, 2009

Organize--Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!

People's lawyer Lynne Stewart, imprisoned in the Metropolitan Correction Center in lower Manhattan for nearly three weeks now, has just issued this public letter to her supporters. Read it, and read on after it for what you can do to support this brave, beloved hero.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, Friends and Supporters:

Well the moment we all hoped would never come is upon us. Goodbye to a good cup of coffee in the morning, a soft chair, the hugs of grandchildren and the smaller pleasures in life. I must say I am being treated well and that is due to my lawyer team and your overwhelming support.

While I have received "celebrity" treatment here in MCC--high visibility--conditions for the other women are deplorable. Medical care, food, education, recreation are all at minimal levels. If it weren't for the unqualified bonds of sisterhood and the commissary it would be even more dismal.

My fellow prisoners have supplied me with books and crosswords, a warm (it is cold in here most of the time) sweatshirt and pants, treats from the commissary, and of course, jailhouse humor. Most important, many of them know of my work and have a deep reservoir of can I say it? Respect.

I continue to both answer the questions put to me by them, I also can't resist commenting on the TV news or what is happening on the floor--a little LS politics always! (Smile) to open hearts and minds!

Liz Fink, my lawyer leader, believes I will be here at MCC-NY for a while--perhaps for a year before being moved to prison. Being in jail is like suddenly inhabiting a parallel universe but at least I have the luxury of time to read! Tomorrow I will get my commissary order which may include an AM/FM radio and be restored to WBAI and music (classical and jazz).

We are campaigning to get the bladder operation (scheduled before I came in to MCC) to happen here in New York City. Please be alert to the website in case I need some outside support.

I want to say that the show of support outside the courthouse on Thursday as I was "transported" is so cherished by me. The broad organizational representation was breathtaking and the love and politics expressed (the anger too) will keep me nourished through this.

Organize--Agitate, Agitate, Agitate! And write to me and others locked down by the Evil Empire.

Love Struggle, Lynne Stewart
Details about the status of Lynne's case and her health and how to help are posted at the Justice for Lynne Stewart website. Two things in particular might be of interest to Read Red readers. One is that Lynne loves to read, and would love for folks to send her books. However, according to MCC rules, she can only receive books sent directly from the publisher. Anyone who has a way to make that happen, to have a press send one or more books to Lynne, please make it happen. The other thing is simpler yet: write her. Doesn't matter whether you've ever met her. I've smiled and said hello and hugged her many times at various political events, but she doesn't know me by name; still, I'm going to sit down soon and write her a letter. It won't be my first letter to a political prisoner--I've written Mumia Abu-Jamal before, even sent him a poem!--but if it's yours don't let shyness stop you. You'll be doing a good deed for an old warrior.

Don't send stamps. Don't send anything that needs to be signed for. The address to which to send anything, books or letters, is:
Lynne Stewart
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007

Oh, and all mail is opened and read. What a country.