Stewart was originally arrested in April 2002 on charges of aiding terrorism, charges which were dismissed by a Federal judge in Manhattan in July of 2004.|
Quoting from her website: "This is an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government's racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people."
I had the good fortune to interview Lynne in April of 2003 in the Portland Community Media studios here in Portland. The interview was cablecast on Public Access channels in the Portland area as "Defending The Right To Defend." Lynne Stewart impressed me as a wonderful, gracious and warm person, a grandmother, whose championing of human rights has brought her into the sights of John Ashcroft, who went out of his way to make a spectacle of her arrest and prosecution.
This is a dark day, and my heart is heavy for Lynne, who has been singled out for persecution by a government which, while going to war in other parts of the globe under the pretense of protecting and expanding the freedom of those peoples, is slowly pinching off that freedom in this country. I really can't see how what they call the "Dark Ages" in Europe under the tyranny of monarchies, aristocracies and the Church could have been any darker than the era which is yawning before us. Our current dilemma is perhaps even the darker, for our "lords" have been elected, their empire machinations have been supported and applauded by our servile elected representatives and a Corporate media equally servile, blinded by the same greed and arrogance which characterizes government policy.
Dark days indeed!
I post this up thinking that others might be interested in hearing her speak about her situation and the situation in which we find ourselves in this country. The following is a 58 minute audio file from that program. Here Lynne discusses the case and it's possible ramifications as a chilling effect upon free speech and the lawyers who defend those rights.