Long live John Africa. On the MOVE, y’all.
I greet you all from slow death row. We join you today in memory of Lynne Stewart Esq., a people’s lawyer in the finest tradition of that grand appellation. But before I begin, let us greet our host Jeff Macklin for this invitation. Thanks, Jeff. Good to be with you again. Brother Ralph Pointer, who fought like a panther for his wife’s freedom and won, to our luminous sisters, Angela and Alice, goddesses of resistance and the divine words of prose, oration, and poetry. To them. I say, Ashe.
But this is about the remarkable Lynne Stewart who fought harder for decades for others in the black communities and Latino barrios of Harlem and Brooklyn than she did for herself. To Ralph, of course, she was his wife and his comrade. But to this system and the architects of the demonic disease of mass incarceration, the authors of the obscenity of juvenile life sentences, remember superpredators, Lynne Stewart was a traitor to her class, to her race, and yes, to her profession.
For one cannot have mass incarceration on this vast monstrous scale without an awful lot of lawyers going along with the tidal wave of repression that is America today. Let me state one fact that should stun all of us: one state, Pennsylvania, has more juvenile lifers than any other jurisdiction on earth. Do you hear me? Pennsylvania holds more juvenile lifers under life without parole than any jurisdiction, any state, any other country, China, Iran, Russia, on this planet. And we wonder how we got mass incarceration.
Well, Lynne resisted this tide from the front end in court where she waged legal wars against that repression. She swam upstream. She fought for decades and she should be lovingly remembered for it by all of us. She saw black kids and saw her kids. She saw brown kids and saw her kids. She saw kids. May she long be remembered and loved. I thank you all.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.