Lynne Stewart is a 70-year-old white woman, a lawyer and breast cancer patient who on July 15 of this year was given a 10 year sentence to prison.
The immediate explanation for the prison sentence, tantamount to a death decree, was Stewart’s defense of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted of seditious conspiracy in a U.S. court.
Stewart’s initial conviction and original sentence under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, dates back to 2005.
http://www.uhurufiles.org/public/uhurunews.com/images/20100723_freelynnestewart/lynnestewartarticle_bibevent.jpg style=”width: 250px;” />
From left, Glen Ford, Penny Hess, Diop Olugbala, Oronde Takoma and Ralph Poynter at podium speaking on his wife Lynne Stewart's case at June 15, Black is Back Coalition event in New York
Stewart was found guilty of aiding and abetting her client through passing information regarding content for a press conference from the cleric to his supporters. She was given a prison sentence of 28 months.
However, the U.S. government was not satisfied with this pound of flesh and increased her sentence to 10 years in July, based on new U.S. government “terrorism enhancement” provisions.
So much for a kinder, gentler imperialism under the Obama regime!
Stewart fell victim to an assortment of relatively new laws that render worthless U.S. constitutional guarantees that many took for granted.
Most of these laws, including the PATRIOT Act, are expressions of the dictatorship of the colonial white ruling class, facilitated by a so-called war on terrorism, concocted to terrorize the white population and to justify growing repression by an imperialism in severe crisis.
Stewart defended colonized Africans struggling for liberation
Stewart is, in fact, being punished for a commendable history of defending victims of U.S. imperial terrorism, including African people domestically colonized inside the U.S.
Her clients numbered members of the Black Liberation Army and others struggling for the liberation of African people.
http://www.uhurufiles.org/public/uhurunews.com/images/20100723_freelynnestewart/lynnestewartarticle_larrydavis.jpg style=”width: 250px;” />
Lynne Stewart defended Larry Davis
One of Stewart’s cases of notoriety was that of Larry Davis, a non-political African who was arrested and tried for shooting six policemen.
Davis escaped a death trap in the Bronx set up by policemen intent on preventing him from exposing police involvement in drug trafficking and other corruption common to police in New York and throughout the U.S.
Correctly defined, dictatorship is simply rule without regard for law. Most white people in the U.S. are oppressor nation citizens of the U.S North American state, and therefore seldom experience the dictatorship of the ruling class directly.
Generally speaking North Americans or white people have the benefit of the law and what is considered “due process.” This is why capitalist rule in the U.S. has often been referred to as a “hidden dictatorship.”
For Africans and others who are subjects of U.S. internal or domestic colonialism, the dictatorship—rule without regard for law—is naked for all to see.
We grow up being forced to move off the corner in defiance of U.S. constitutional protection of freedom of assembly. And, a simple defiant retort to occupying military police personnel can get one beaten or killed with impunity, notwithstanding legal rights of free speech.
In November 1996, an army of 300 occupying militarized police forces attacked the headquarters of the African People’s Socialist Party and Uhuru Movement in St. Petersburg, FL.
This occupation, which included shooting the city’s entire supply of tear gas into the building, was carried out with the stated purpose of preventing a meeting of Africans to discuss the outcome of a contrived grand jury decision absolving the police of responsibility for the murder of a young African man.
Arabs and Africans struggling against imperialism
The Egyptian cleric that was defended by Stewart was one of many Arabs and Muslims arrested in the U.S. and abroad, many of whom were subjected to “Extraordinary Rendition,” a presidential order that allows people to be kidnapped by U.S. agents and transported to locations in the world where they are tortured.
The U.S. also used the September 11, 2001 events to round up hundreds of Muslims and Arabs within the U.S. and lock them in secret prisons without charges and without even notifying family and friends of their arrest.
Africans within the U.S. have always suffered naked and brutal dictatorship.
This is because we exist as a colony within the U.S. The African community has historically represented critical, destabilizing internal resistance to U.S. imperialism, standing in objective unity with the struggling peoples of the world.
The Black Revolution of the 60s impacted on the ability of the U.S. to pursue its imperialist objectives during the Viet Nam war.
Now, the crisis of imperialism is responding to the growth of anti-colonial resistance in the world, especially in the Arab and Muslim world.
This has resulted in the criminalization of Muslims and Arabs to terrorize the likeliest opponents of U.S. foreign policy resulting in attacks on the Muslim and Arab world by U.S. imperialism.
The capitulation of the Soviet Union and China to imperialism destroyed the significance of Marxism as a unifying philosophy of the oppressed peoples of the world.
For a while this led to paroxysms of imperialist joy. However, it was soon to be discovered that what our Party has been saying all along is true: the primary contradiction in the world since the very advent of capitalism has not been a contest between the industrial working class and ruling class.
The primary contest is between the enslaved and colonized and capitalism-imperialism itself born of and resting on our enslavement and colonization.
Islam has become a target of the imperialists who are making every effort to continue domination of the energy resources of the world, much of which are located in nominally controlled Arab and Muslim puppet states.
For many in the Arab world, Islam has become a philosophy locking huge sectors of the impoverished population in violent conflict with imperialism.
Many see this struggle as being based on the historical contest between the West and Islam that has been characterized as holy war since the Crusades hundreds of years ago.
The truth is though, objectively speaking, the struggle of the Arab people under the name of Islam is simply part of the struggle of the oppressed of the world to defeat imperialist domination as viewed through a religious lens.
Islam is not the only target of U.S. imperialism in crisis, however.
In anticipation of having to suppress internal African resistance, the U.S. has resorted to a number of pre-emptive attacks on the African community with the intent of giving a black face to their definition of terrorism.
This is the significance of the frame-up cases of the Liberty City 7 in Miami, the San Francisco 8 and the murder of Imam Luqman in Detroit. Along with other patently anti-democratic, contrived cases, all of these U.S. actions were carried out as part of a “war against terrorism.”
Some of the most notorious “black left” forces who supported the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, did so on the pretext that Obama’s election was a necessary hedge against “fascism” that was surely looming in the wings with the election of any of the other imperialist presidential candidates.
The truth is, however, that Obama’s presidency is a result of the crisis of imperialism that has been sparked by the resistance of black, brown, red and yellow peoples around the world. It was a desperate ploy by U.S. imperialism to disguise its continuing predatory nature behind a black face.
Stewart’s enhanced sentence has occurred under Obama’s regime!
Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, has just successfully appealed to the Supreme Court to criminalize any person or group for giving any solidarity, including humanitarian assistance, to any group or person designated as terrorist by the U.S. government.
Stewart is in prison for defending a blind Egyptian opponent of the vicious, repressive, terrorist regime of Hosni Mubarak, an ally of the U.S. and oppressor of the Egyptian masses.
The U.S. government supports the illegitimate white settler state of Israel that is committing genocide against the Palestinian people daily.
The Obama regime supports brutal, buffoonish, terrorist thugs all over the Continent of Africa. They murder and imprison African people with impunity, but the U.S. government does not designate them as terrorists.
Clearly, then, the terrorist designation is political and, like the selection of Obama as U.S. president, used to facilitate the interests of the white ruling class.
The bourgeoisie is not a homogenous entity. Some of them were opposed to the selection of Obama. But it is also true that some were opposed to Bush and to Clinton before him.
In fact, the crisis of imperialism is certain to sharpen divisions within the bourgeoisie that will be reflected in the electoral arena, the non-violent contest between sectors of the ruling class for control of the state.
With Obama as the face for imperialism, we can expect to see an escalation of the attack on the Black Revolution as it achieves greater clarity, organization and authority among the masses of Africans and the oppressed peoples of the world.
Obama’s usefulness as a leader of the imperialist counterinsurgency internationally will be multiplied many times over when dealing with Africans at home in Africa and here in the U.S.
A key factor in the attack on Lynne Stewart and the U.S. government’s criminalization of contacts between U.S. residents and struggling peoples around the world is its attempt to prevent the encirclement of the U.S. by the peoples of the world as during the U.S. imperialist war against Viet Nam.
It is an attempt to prevent the kind of open support given the Palestinians by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1967 or the kind of solidarity implicit in the chant: “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh! Viet Nam is gonna win!” in the 1960s.
Many forces have been neutralized by the election of and their support for Barack Hussein Obama as U.S. president. These are people who sometimes claim opposition to imperialism but are really opposed to some imperialist policy or another. They cannot envision a life without imperialism. In many ways Obama’s election validates them.
But for genuine opponents of imperialism, for those of us who understand that there is no such thing as a good or benign imperialism, we must rush to the defense of Stewart.
We must brush aside the claims of a terrorist association by Stewart and reveal the real terrorist of the world to be the U.S., even the U.S. under the leadership of Barack Hussein Obama.
Free Lynne Stewart! Long live revolutionary solidarity!
Long Live the African Revolution!
Write to Comrade Lynne Stewart at
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007