The NLG-NYC Celebrates the Return of our Freedom Fighter Lynne Stewart!

By Chapter Coordinator, December 31, 2013 7:08 pm

The New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild celebrates the victory of our long battle to free fellow member and radical defense attorney Lynne Stewart.  This morning, the government filed papers requesting what the Guild has long been fighting for, the compassionate release of our sister and comrade Lynne Stewart.  Lynne, now 74, is dying of cancer, and has been given a prognosis of less than 18 months to live. Late today, Judge Koeltl granted the government’s request and Lynne’s release is imminent.

We commend the government for requesting her release and hope that it will make similar requests on behalf of the many federal prisoners that qualify for compassionate release under its own guidelines.

Lynne Stewart has been held at the Carswell Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, since her 2005 outrageous conviction for “material support for terrorism”. That charge was based upon an interview Lynne had with a Reuters reporter that expressed the political views of her incarcerated client, Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman.

As members of the radical legal community, the Guild fought for our sister in struggle, pushing against the government’s attempt to silence Lynne and isolate her case from public discourse. While the government attempted to use her case to instill fear in others who defend the oppressed and advocate for dignity and human rights, Lynne stood her ground, just as she stood her ground defending those the rest of the world had long abandoned: Muslims, people of color, and those the government labeled “terrorists.”  Lynne did not shy away from placing her client’s cases in the larger political context under which they occurred, whether it be the so-called “war on terror” that has been used internationally to justify wars and indefinite detention, or domestically to justify larger police budgets and funding of the prison industrial complex.

While we applaud Lynne’s imminent release, we cannot forget others that still languish in our prisons, from Leonard Peltier and Oscar Lopez Rivera, to Mumia Abu Jamal and Jeremy Hammond. We call for their release and the release of all of our political prisoners.  For her courage and strength to defend and fight for others at the expense of her own liberty, we are forever indebted to our freedom fighter, Lynne Stewart, we welcome our sister home with open arms and celebrate this long fought victory.

Listen to Bob Boyle’s interview about today’s developments with Democracy Now! with producer Renée Feltz: http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/12/31/breaking_fed_govt_asks_judge_to

Read the Government’s Motion for Lynne Stewart’s Compassionate Release: http://www.scribd.com/doc/194875625/Lynne-Stewart-Motion

 

 

NLG-NYC Newsletter Winter 2013 is Here!

By Chapter Coordinator, December 13, 2013 6:36 pm

The Winter 2013 issue of NYC News has arrived!

Read about the latest goings on in the NLG-NYC  here.

 

NLG Animal Rights Activism Committee: Stand with Marineland Animal Defense

By Chapter Coordinator, November 16, 2013 5:17 pm
The National Lawyers Guild’s Animal Rights Activism Committee expresses its solidarity with and grave concern for Marineland Animal Defense and the legal repression they are facing at the hands of Marineland Canada.  Marineland, a captive animal facility in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, was recently the subject of investigative reporting by the Toronto Star, based on the testimony of fifteen ex-employees which included allegations of animal abuse and mistreatment. Though anti-SLAPP legislation is pending (legislation that curbs lawsuits aimed against protected political speech), Marineland has filed several lawsuits against activists and ex employees, using the courts to prevent protesters from saying certain words like “abuse” on their signs or using megaphones. Marineland has further used its lawyers to threaten legal action against any person demonstrating in violation of the Court order, despite the fact that the order facially only applies to one person, effectively threatening to punish one individual if any other person on their own chooses to violate the order. 

It is clear Marineland’s tactics are to silence public debate and criticism over their use, captivity and abuse of marine mammals through the use of repressive and intimidating lawsuits, injunctions aimed at completely silencing any criticism of the park and chilling any speech and debate around the subject in general.  This campaign to criminalize Marineland Animal Defense’s political speech is part of a larger crackdown on political speech generally, both in the U.S. and in Canada. From the silencing of war dissenters, anti-government surveillance and spying activists, to the repression of the animal rights movement that threatens large business profits, it is clear Marineland has sought refuge from and is using the courts as a weapon in its conservative political agenda aiming to maximize profits no matter what the cost, even at the cost of the enslavement and torture of such intelligent animals as marine mammals.

We urge members and supporters to call on politicians (below) in the Province of Ontario to pass Bill 83 – anti SLAPP legislation, which will provide the mechanism to remove these frivolous lawsuits from the court system.  For an overview of Marineland’s legal threats, actions and strategy, visit  http://dylanxpowell.com/2013/11/14/how-ridiculous-is-a-marineland-slapp-suit/.

Jagmeet Singh (NDP Justice Critic) – 905-799-3939 / jsingh-qp@ndp.on.ca / @jagmeetNDP

Julia Munro (Tory Justice Critic) – 416-325-3392 / julia.munro@pc.ola.org

Lorenzo Berardinetti (Liberal Justice) – 416-325-1008 / lberardinetti.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Hon John Gerretsen (Attorney General) – 416-326-2220 / jgerretsen.mpp@liberal.ola.org

The Animal Rights Activism Committee works to end oppression and exploitation of non-human animals. The committee engages Guild members to advocate for changes in the law to recognize the rights of non-human animals, and to provide legal support and resources to animal rights activists. It works in coalition with other groups to fight–in the courts and in the streets–to liberate non-human animals.  The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.

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