Former Political Prisoner Lynne Stewart Speaks: From Larry Davis to the War on Terror

Lynee StewartHard 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.

Larry Davis

Larry Davis

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..

Dhoruba Bin Wahad: What Do We Do Now that Barack Obama is Re-Elected?

Hard Knock Radio logoIt’s always a pleasure to chop it up with author, former Black Panther and political prisoner Dhoruba bin Wahad. His political insights and analysis are always astute as he challenges us to not settle for anything less than justice for those who are oppressed.  Because of Dhoruba’s sharpness, we had to include him in our post-election series of  ‘Where Do We Do Now That Barack Obama Is Re-Elected?‘  He did not disappoint..

Below is our Hard knock Radio interview w/ Dhoruba Bin Wahad..

As you listen to the interview, here’s some background. The opening of our interview starts off with an excerpt from a landmark speech Dhoruba gave in the summer of 2008 at the National Hip Hop Political Convention in Las Vegas. We dubbed ‘A Message to the Hip Hop Grassroots‘.  Here Dhoruba talked at length about a 30 year attempt by far right forces in this country to consolidate power and dismantle gains made under the New Deal and later the Civil Rights Movementt.

Dhoruba Bin WahadDhoruba talked about the rise of a police state where the stripping of constitutional rights would seem normal to a beleaguered population. He also talked about what sort of things we could expect  slave ascends to the slave masters house including increased oppression not just from outside forces angry at a Blackening and Browning America, but also from President Obama himself and interests he represents.  Dhoruba notes that Obama is part of a larger scenario (the American Empire) where Black faces are used to get the masses to buy back into an imperialistic system versus oppose it..

Below is part of the 2008 speech  Message to the Hip Hop Grassroots.. We had the music and historic sound clips to enhance what Dhoruba was speaking about…

Former Black Panther chair Elaine Brown Speaks on Cointel-pro, The Panther’s influence on Gangs & Freeing Chip Fitzgerald


We caught up with former Black Panther party chair-Elaine Brown who spoke to us outside of 330 Ritch in San Francisco… She talked to us about political prisoner Chip Fitzgerald a Black Panther who has served 40 years in jail including the last year in solitary confinement. Fitzgerald’s incarceration stems  from an incident in which he defended himself from LA police.

Elaine explains the widespread influence of the Black Panthers and how they impacted the early gangs in both New York and LA which sprung up in the wake of the FBI trying to destroy the Panthers using Cointel-Pro tactics. Brown talks to us about how the counter intelligence program set up by the FBI and J Edger Hoover and how it was used to destroy liberation groups.Its been documented and we’ve heard over the years from the gang members how much they influenced by the revolutionary spirit of the Black Panthers were around during the early days of Hip Hop. She explained that those early gangs had a revolutionary outlet that made them targets bby the police who sought to ‘neutralize’ them.

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