Friday, February 11, 2005

Jennifer Van Bergen: "Lynne Stewart's Conviction Hurts Us All" (from CounterPunch)

Jennifer Van Bergen has a very strong (and important) piece in today's CounterPunch. It's entitled "Lynne Stewart's Conviction Hurts Us All" and because this issue matters to a number of you who e-mailed today (it matters to me as well), we're going to highlight this strong article (this is an excerpt, click on link to read in full):

In a shocking jury verdict today, a tireless watchdog for liberty was convicted of violating special administrative prison rules and of providing material support to terrorists.
Only a few weeks ago, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Barkow told the jury in his closing statement that Lynne Stewart "thought she could blow off the rules that apply to everyone else because she's a lawyer, and she's above the law. She said, 'I think my client is more important than the law. My cause is more important that the risk to lives of innocent people.' "
This is a complete distortion of the woman I have come to know. The woman who, when her husband became angry at a heckler during her speech at a small rally, told him the man was only exercising his rights to free speech--he had a right to disagree with her.
The woman who is as courteous to the man next to her at the podium, who is declaring that the ACLU--which, remember, stands for the American CIVIL LIBERTIES Union -- is a communist organization, as to those who thank her for coming.
A woman who put herself endlessly and courageously on the front lines to defend the rights of those who were under-represented, unrepresented, disenfranchised, or disregarded: those whose voices are suppressed or silenced.
Lynne Stewart never ever thought she could blow off the rules that apply to everyone else. She never thought she was above the law. She never supported or endorsed terrorism. Nor did she ever intend to provide material support to terrorists.

[Note: To help you out, here's the link again that you need to click to continue reading.]