On April 26, the warden at Carswell Federal Medical Center told political prisoner Lynne Stewart that he had passed her compassionate release papers up the bureaucratic ladder to his bosses at the Bureau of Prisons in the U.S. Justice Department, an indication that he had not rejected the application. But this step, while very positive, is just the first stage of the struggle with the Obama administration and Judge Koeltl for Stewart’s release. As her spouse/comrade Ralph Poynter says, “Double and redouble your efforts.” The following statement was made public by Stewart on April 28.
A worldwide embrace to all of the thousands of people who helped me! As my hero said, we are motivated by great feelings of love and compassion and I am fortunate to be the beneficiary, this time around.
To savor this victory, you all should know that the Carswell Prison authorities kept telling me, “It can’t be done.” You don’t qualify. Why bother? Wait till you are closer to death! To all of them, I replied that I have been fighting battles like this all my life and I would never quit. Then I had this white blood cell setback, making me super-vulnerable and was quarantined for a week. I was released on Friday [April 26] to learn that indeed “the children had shouted” and the walls “did come a-tumblin’ down.” I must say that I was in a state of bliss. Not Just to Win but to accomplish it in the time-honored method, … we will organize the People and you dare not ignore us!!
I owe an enormous debt to so many. This is the one we had to win where the medical decision was made that compassionate release was warranted. That cannot be trifled with BUT … we who have been out here struggling from the fifties onward know that the Government is masterful at Co-optation, at snatching victory and making it defeat.
Please do not think that my struggle is WON. We have this fabulous win, but we still have the D.C. National Bureau of Prisons (if there ever was a time to hold Obama’s feet to the fire, this is it) and then their forwarding of the case to the Judge in New York for a final decision (Yes, the same one that increased my original sentence from 28 months to 10 years!).
So please, please, please do not let us rest on our laurels. Until my feet are planted like the Tree that grows in Brooklyn, and I am among my family, friends, and comrades and plunged back into the struggle once more, we must continue. Fight On!!