Hard Knock Radio: Over the weekend, we were honored to sit down and speak with long time human right’s activist and freedom fighter, former political prison affectionately known as ‘the People’s Lawyer-Lynne Stewart.
She swung through the Bay Area with Pam and Ramona Africa to celebrate Mumia Abu Jamal’s 60th birthday and to raise awareness about political prisoners. For those who are unaware, Stewart was sent to jail almost 10 years ago when the Bush administration accused her of aiding and abetting terrorists, which was far from the case.
She was sent to jail under new restrictive laws that were newly applied to lawyers working with particular clients. Her case set a frightening precedent and showed just how much our civil liberties have been encroached. By using the words terrorists and painting Stewart as some sort of danger to national security, the Bush administration was able to get away with what Stewart described as an egregious crime.
Stewart pointed out that her long history of successfully opposing state oppression and abusive police made her a target where all rules were thrown out the window. During our interview she breaks down the full details leading up to her arrest and conviction. It is truly fascinating.
We also spoke to Stewart about her past work, including her being the lawyer for infamous Bronx drug dealer, turned police fighter Larry Davis. Davis was accused of shooting six New York City cops who he said were dirty and forcing him to deal drugs. He went on the run for 17 days after the shooting, sparking one of the largest man hunts in New York City history.
What a lot of folks don’t know is Lynne successfully defended him of those initial charges. he was acquitted. Sadly he was actually convicted on something that was minor compared to the charges levied on him about the police shootings. Stewart noted that she wasn’t Davis’ lawyer in the last case which led to him being convicted and sent to jail where was later murdered.
During our interview Stewart gives up a lot of key information about the plight of political prisoners and what its like inside jail for them. She described in detail the types of tactics guards use to prevent inmates from asserting their rights and organizing..