Letters For Lynne!
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LETTER FROM DYCIA PAGAN, FORMER PUERTO RICAN PRISONER OF WAR
November 2, 2003
Dear friends and comrades, Unfortunately due to a prior commitment I am unable to be present with all of you this evening. I would like to take this opportunity to send my dear friend Lynne Stewart a personal hug of admiration and respect for the many years of support she gave me during my twenty years of incarceration. A year never went by the Lynne forgot my Birthday or any special occasion. Lynne's human concern for all of the Political Prisoners has always been relentless. It takes a certain type of human being that can take time from all their daily responsibilities to be involved and concerned about companeros and companeras in the struggle, who are incarcerated and so far away from loved ones and family.
Lynne Stewart is one of those rare attorneys that are extremely professional, caring and committed to social change.
What the U.S. Government is attempting to do in Lynne's case is to use her as an example of deterrent for any other lawyer that would represent high profile clients of a political nature. Those of us that have worked with Lynne, and know of her many years of dedicated legal work with or without pay know that, this is just another government witch hunt after 911.
My dearest Lynne as always carry on in your work towards humanity and justice.
You are loved always
US Navy Out of Vieques!
Free all Political Prisoners!
Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
PS. you have an open invitation to Puerto Rico whenever you so desire.
There's a saying that I am fond of which is attributed to Dorothy Sayers:
"Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force."
Let is be so. How can I help?
Affectionately, MK (This person is now a regular volunteer)
Dear Ms. Stewart,
I support you in your efforts to represent your client. I hope you are able to effectively challenge Ashcroft and company who are every showing more nightmarish intent to wreck democracy and our legal system. Is there anything we can do in Vermont please let me know. SB, Burlington, VT (later this person set up an event in Vermont)
April 10, 2002
I guess I'll be on "their list" now.
Thanks so much for your help in the past.
I am writing to you in regards to the front page of the New York Law Journal, dated April 10, 2002, during my daily reading of the paper, I noticed the article title and your photograph, and immediately read the article. What timing, what was that a delayed spirit of death after the passover?
They just never stop do they Lynne, as you can tell from the address I am no longer at Green Haven. I am still employed as a bilingual paralegal with the Department of Correctional Services. And I have you to thank for that, as it was you who encouraged me to pursue a career as a paralegal. Since I obtained my certification from Blackstone School of Law, I have really grown in the field.
Enough about me, Lynne, is there anything I can do to help, besides prayers and moral support. They are constantly snapping at our heals huh, one of the few attorney's who go the distance for a client.
Lynne, I have an excellent team of paralegals' that want to help, if there is any grunt work that needs to be done, so as to free up some time for your own case research, forward it here to the facility addressed to me along with any return dates aor dead lines we must be mindful of, and we will give it our all, as we have plenty of time in which to handle it. We are eager for some challenging assignments as unlike the max's there is no real litigation going on in these mediums, at least not like we're used too.
So please my dear friend, if there is anything, anything that can be done to help. Please, do not hesitate to ask.
Respectfully Your Friend, KE
My dear Lynne:
. . . How courageous and extraordinary your career has been. Without the definition and tests of our American liberties, the collective rightward march would be hastened. For years as you popped up in my reading material and my consciousness, I have realized how important your work has been. While I've been toiling, in the vineyard of social work ethics, you've been leading a conscience brigade, keeping open the narrowing perimeter of civil and human rights. . .
What is happening is huge . . . and profound . . . and deeply unsettling. I ardently hope . . . that you will not only prevail but that historic lessons will be learned. I'm also concerned about how you are now and am trying to imagine - impossibly - how this is affecting you day to day and hour to hour? . . . Just know that I am thinking of you constantly and wishing I could help. Do ask me for whatever might help to sustain you though what I imagine to be (even if entirely familiar based on your clients' experiences) a protracted nightmare.
Ah! I always knew you were star quality. I'm referring to "60 Minutes" of last night - it was so good to see you alive and kicking, and the photos of you as a little girl (I've got a really nice one of you) and your Mom and Dad, brought back a whole flood of memories of you and I on 85th Rd.
I've been curious and worried about you since hearing the news a few weeks ago. However, I thought you presented yourself very well in the interview with Mike Wallace. I just knew you couldn't ever would, do anything unjust or deeply wrong against the U.S. Ashcroft is an abomination, and the interview, I think, was a very wise thing to do.
I think I understand a little better now the complications of what you 're up against, although I certainly don't understand it all. What can I do? Write letters? Provide you with a gateway to the wilds of Maryland? Be a character witness - although your record certainly speaks for itself, years of speaking for the underdog, years of making a difference where it counts - I 'm sure you have tons of friends who have known your work intimately through the years.
I was also struck by the evident love between you and your husband as he spoke of your efforts through the years, and the way you looked at him. You are a lucky lady, my dear.
I'm feeling rather sad this morning by all the years gone by, and humbled, too, by how hard you've worked - fighter for all the good causes - and, of course, proud to know you. All the very best to you as you fight this, you remarkable woman! Love, B
. . . Please advise if there is some group I can contribute to that is assisting Lynne . . . People like Lynne almost single-handedly keep the U.S. from completely falling into an ethical hole occupied by a Minuteman II missile. ER
Hello Lynne Stewart . . .I've read of you and approve of you. What may I do to help? Please advise.
. . . You are a hero . . . I know you will put up the best of fights. They just want you tied up and out of commission, so you can't remind them that democracy means they can't do what they are trying to do during this post 9-11 period.
. . . Give them hell, Lynne. You're part of American history.
Dear Lynne -
. . . When 9/11 happened I knew that we were all just hurled into a vastly heightened era in history - - and I was/am taken aback when I realize that many folks don't realize it or recognize the importance but are completely focused on, and fooled by, the smoke and mirrors.
So here we are, on the correct side of history as it hurtles forward. And I just want you to know that I am unabashedly proud to be riding this train with you - - up to now, and on into the future
Thank you for taking the time and effort to address our members at the Annual Meeting. We appreciate your life long commitment to indigent defense practice and your courage in the face of extraordinary challenges. Everyone in attendance drew encouragement and strength from your words.
Our best wishes are with you. Please don't hesitate to contact us, if we can assist you with your case.
New York State Defenders Association, Inc.
Just a quick note to let you k now that all the movement folks out here are 1000 percent behind you. Is this part of the Patriot Act or something, concocted just for you, a cogent, principled, respected, trusted, courageous, fearless lawyer?
We are all keeping our eyes on the newspapers and e-mails to follow up on what is happening to you. We admire you for your tenacity to fight back the powers that be. We're glad that all the New York political, progressive attorneys are standing behind you and beside you. . .
Dear Ms. Stewart:
. . . I've seen and heard a great deal about you as I battle my own conviction as to New York State harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws.
Here it is, I sit in a state facility for the past twelve years, for a mere possession of 4 3/8 ounces of cocaine and I continue to seek my freedom pro se.
In closing, Ms. Stewart . . . you have always shown me that you are amongst the most "strong-and-elite" and now is the time to stand firm in your convictions.
My dear loving grandma, when I first heard what had happened my immediate reactions were hurt, enraged, scared and worried for you, but not shocked that they h ad turned to you, the best radical woman defense lawyer ever, to be their scape goat, yet what they fail to see is that you are too clever.
At about 6:00 pm I had sat down to a nice cup of tea, and turned on the TV, and what did I see but "News Alert", "War on Terrorism" etc. and a bunch of pictures of you on NBC, CNN, CNBC, FOX News, HN, and MSN. These governmental and media fools saying outrageous and ridiculous things, such as "Lynne Stewart, seeks to destroy other people's rights", (I pity the fool I said to myself) The things you have taught me have been so honest, and proven true. These people were so blind to seeing you were one of the few who will fight for other people's rights.
Immediately after I saw your face and voice on the television, I had an overwhelming feeling of pride jumping in my heart. I was ecstatic to have such a courageous brilliant, and beautiful grandmother. Who has brought a very special important part of knowledge to my brain, and heart. I refuse to be one of the many sheep, and cowards, whom I see daily.
You are a personal motivation for my voice in the classroom, and outside in the world, I find it so amazing that what Teresa Witherspoon does to basketball, you can do with your mind. Again you are so clever, I appreciate and respect you, you are the Mark Twain of present day slavery, the Odysseus of defense lawyers, who will take the most controversial cases.
I am not frightened for you anymore, I am empowered by you in fact, because I know you are strong minded, and goodhearted. I smile to have a privilege like you in my blood.
I LOVE YOU GRANDMA, My place by your side is unmoved and permanent.
Tweetie Pie "Mimi"
I would like to help in any way possible. Please call me.
Sincerey, RS (attorney)
Dear Wonderful you,
How are you doing? I hope that you are doing well. I can't say that I know what you are going through. Sorry. I do hope that everything turns out okay. I don't know what else to say. Keep your head up.
Love always, C
Harriet Tubman, Lynne Stewart . . . it's always the short ones. . . Love DF
What an outrage! The steps of fascism are firmly planted. From the reports you sound strong, furious and clear. Carry on sister. You have argued long and well on the behalf of so many. We stand beside you. I know there are many who are standing loudly to represent you. Forward ever, M
I hope everything is well with you and your family. I've read of your unfortunate situation. Don't worry that in the due process, you'll be vindicated. All justice comes in time. Through my experience, my advice is you must keep your head up high. Even when everything around you is falling, keep moving through the storm because when you least realize it's only a whistle of a wind.
Take care counselor, John (former client)
Dear Ms. Stewart,
From all of us screwed by the system thank you for your efforts. I personally hope you are able to overcome the states allegations and in any case their silencing your client shows just how bad the system has gotten. I truly believe our founding fathers would support your actions and turn over in their graves if they seen how many of our civil rights have been squashed. Don't get me wrong we've improved in some respects since then but your current situation shows where we've failed.
Dear Counsel Stewart:
I had an opportunity to watch you last evening on Sixty Minutes. It appears the question of the moment was, did Lynne Stewart make the right decision to go on T.V. The answer to that question is an unqualified YES!
The government will play you as the bomb throwing terrorist. This gave the country an opportunity to see you as a caring person, grandmother, and civil rights counsel. In those roles, I applaud you. I wanted to write and offer you my support and the support of the Freedom Forum of New York City. We have been quietly working for prisoners, for almost three decades. I will not bore you with the details as you can review our work on our web site I wanted you to know we are here to help you. You are not alone. ..If you desire a helping hand at anytime, please feel free to contact me.
Warmest regards, SL
The news has reached me and I am saddened by it. Moreover, I am utterly disgusted as well as disturbed to see that the government is flagitiously conniving and plotting against someone genuine as yourself who devoted all her life for the sake of justice and equality.
Since I am powerless to offer any assistance, I turned to The One who is Most Powerful and beseeched Him to make things easy for you and that you emerge triumphant and stronger than ever.
My advice to you is that please do not let their mendacity grieve you, indeed Allah knows best what is in the hearts of man.
Please do not forget to convey my regards to your husband "Ralph". Be well, keep the good work and stay in touch.
Enclosed is signed solidarity statement from two of your biggest fans. We'd like to do more and if we can please let us know. How does it feel being a "defendant" for a change!? From experience I can tell you it's not all that bad. (until some dour faced judge loads the Rock of Gibraltor on your back and you're moved from defendant to "inmate" status.). It's gratifying to hear that you're receiving beaucoup support. I know you'll be giving the U.S. AG et.al. a hell of a fight. On a lighter note (not light, really, but lighter) my mother and youngest aunt were here for a w day visit in . Most enjoyable and memorable. was able to come with them and they stayed with her .. We even had our picture took for the first time in 17 ½ years imprisonment. (wasn't allowed anywhere else I've been). She's 80 now but appears fit, though slower in step and with slight stoop in shoulders. I said - Ma, you gotta hang on a little loner. Piece of cake she says. It's a struggle tho. Last Nov. the mill closed and fled to the southern hemisphere leaving my mother and 200 others jobless. No pension, needless to say. She worked there for 40 years (just in that one mill). In 1964 I worked on the ground floor of the same building. that kind of work ethic she's got leaves a gap when the door shuts. Then my other aunt - my mother's oldest sister and best buddy died on Easter. They'd been inseparable after the mill closed. Anotehr gap. She's dealt with much adversity throughout her life and she'll weather this too. Of course you know the other big family news. is pregnant. And I'm an expectant pe pere (grand pa). It's getting more difficult to keep my age denial trip on course. Her baby shower is May 19 (a coincidence, no doubt). I couldn't send the latest edition of Dr. Spock, diapers, etc. so I made them a dreamcatcher. For the hoop I used a small branch from the willows we recently built the new sweatlodge with. Every family should have a dream catcher, n'est pas. Since I'm still on sabbitical from writing incendiary political articles I thought I'd try my hand at "creative writing." Meaning fiction. Via the . Thing is, whatever creativity I have for writing draws on an essentially political root. My latest short story is about a stone throwing incident involving a group of young French Canadian boys in an abandoned mill. Of course the mill represents heartless capitalism, the ethnic minority of the boys is gone into and the stone throwing emblematic of the existing cultural and class contradictions. .Now doesn't that take your mind off court matters for a minute?!
Barre chance Lynne, and much love, RL (political prisoner)
Hi Cutie. I waited on purpose to write to you because I know you must be very busy. thank you for the books. By massaging my legs everyday I got the swelling to go away. Hospital says it was probably an imbalance in my body because of the heart stuff. I am getting treatment. I'm on blood thinner since my danger is blood clots from my irregular heartbeat. Nothing they can do for the arythmia unless it gets so bad that I need a pacemaker but my episodes have gotten less frequent and milder so I'm cool for now.
What about you? Maybe I spent so much time in the hole because of the heat on you. Not your fault of course, but it's a thought. I do hope that you get support from the establishment lawyers. Is there anything I can do? Probably not but at least I offered.
Hey, much love to you - as always. I'm okay and I hope that you are. I mailed Bob the addresses and .paper on me will be sent out by him. They probably grabbed what I sent you. Take care Cutie.
Venceremos! RW (political prisoner)
It ain't easy
It ain't easy being you. Lately I been thinking how many people count on you. I think it must be hard for you to be strong for so many.
It ain't easy
It ain't easy but I know you'll get through.
Te quiero mucho,
The Times' coverage of the inconsistencies in the government's legal strategy (War on Terror Makes for Odd Twists in Justice System, June 23) omits the other major case brought by the federal government. Attorney-General Ashcroft himself traveled to New York to announce the indictment of attorney Lynne Stewart as part of the government's "war on terrorism". Ms. Stewart is charged with being part of a terrorist conspiracy because she released to the press statements by her client, whom the government wants held incommunicado. In prosecuting Ms. Stewart, the Justice Department emulates the late Fujimori regime in Peru which not only prosecuted terrorist suspects in secret courts with hooded judges, but then turned around and sent their lawyers to prison for the temerity to represent them.
C. Clark Kissinger, Member of the Executive Committee of Refuse & Resist
You have been much on my mind - and on .. of late. We read the piece in the Sunday New York Times Magazine. I generally assume that most of what I read in the press (including the Times) is inaccurate, incomplete, or downright false, and I hope that at least one theme of this article is properly consignable to that assumption. I hope that your colleagues in the criminal defense bar in New York are not abandoning you. Certainly your friends and fans in the West have not. If there is anything that ., .., or I can do to help you, we would all be disappointed if you didn't call on us.
We wish you the best.
Sincerely, LH, JS
I bought this card ages ago, and never actually had occasion to send it. But since your birthday is coming on the 8th (I don't know why that date has stuck in my memory, but it has, when many others have flown away) I want to wish you many happy returns of the day, and let you know that I'm thinking of you and hoping for the best.
I read the article in the NY Times Mag. and while it filled in many of the gaps in the years since we've seen each other, it also made me wish for the simple days when we'd go pick leaves off bushes and trees and rush back to Shady Nook to make the other one identify them. God, how complicated life has become!
If I were the kind of person who prayed, I'd do that for you. But since I'm not, all I can do is send you my greatest and best hope that this travesty that has unjustly got you in its clutches will be wiped away.
It was good to see pictures of you in the Times article, although you look sad, and I realize how said I feel, too. I said to myself I knew your mother and father, what dolls you loved and the tricks you did on the swing Mr. Grant made for you, how you hated to have our hair washed, how you were in a bus accident and broke your leg when you were visiting your dad in the service, and an assortment of details from the images of childhood, but I also know your great heart, and your passion for what you believe is right. That's got to be worth something in this old world!
News here is that my first (and probably only) novel, Requiem for a Summer Cottage, is coming out end of this month. It's probably not a good book for you to read right now as it's pretty depressing. SMU is the publisher.
Anyway, I appreciated your great humor in the article - especially the comment "Husbands? That's all we get?" By the way, yours is awfully nice and I enjoyed talking to him on the phone. Sounds like you are rich in love, my dear.
I'll be thinking of you in the coming months.
Dear Ms. Stewart
The Board of Directors of the Caroline Fund has asked me to send you our great appreciation for your evening presentation and for your guest appearance on our community access television show. "Women's Voices<" in Burlington on October 4. Your remarks were informative, clear, energetic and inspiring: we have received many very positive and supportive comments from those who saw and listened to you.
It was a real pleasure to meet you and also Ralph. We send you our best wishes, as well as hopes for a better future for all.
Rosanna E. Crichfield, President