In Memory of Lynn Stewart

Valedictorian

 “Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone”

—Moroccan

 “Did you say I’ve got a lot to learn

Well don’t think I’m trying not to learn

Since this is a perfect spot to learn—

TEACH ME TONIGHT”

—“Teach Me Tonight” Sammy Cahn

 

Can strings push?

Can sticks pull?

Is water wet?

Is fat meat greasy?

Are big lies alternative facts?

Can warmongers win peace prizes?

Are Mothers older than daughters?

If you die, do you come back the next day?

 

We wake with watch hands

Saying different things—yet

Saying nothing untrue at 9

At 10, 11, ‘Round Midnight

Or, 4 in the morning:

Our Valedictorian checked out,

Crossing crimson curtains,

Slipping through silken membrane

Into sacred Ancestral spaces—

But never quietly into the night!

 

nickel-slick enemies know it’s

Her they’re hearing in creaking

floorboards, rustling drapes, leaves

Talking back beneath their boots and

Blistering cross-examination of cops

 

“Finding Paths, Forging Links In

Long ChainsOf Class Struggle

Making Mama Harriet Happy,

Never Bowing Down Or Sucking Up”

stellar seventy-seven page

Commencement Address delivered fortissimo

Amplifying power to the people

 

Flipping tassel, flinging mortarboard skyward—

signaling us to step up, strap on our balls, take

Mama Harriet hormones, speaking truth to

Class

 

Entering from Tahrir Square,

Wisconsin’s State Capitol,

Zucotti Park, Oscar Grant Plaza…

colleges of class struggle

 

Signaling us to become

Distinguished Professors of

Lynne Stewart Studies, “unpacking”

“de-contextualizing” “contextualizing”

“intersectionalities” of class struggle—

Hard-wiring ourselves for happiness, joy, love:

Lives worth living

 

Signaling us to become

Distinguished Professors of

Lynne Stewart Studies—

Shameless agitators having Yes Men fun,

Dancing in the street to Brass Liberation Orchestras;

Single-payer ju-ju workers hot on socialism’s trail;

 Anonymous, Wikileak workers speaking truth to

Class

 

Lynne Stewart Scholars come matriculate:

Come agitate, come with love trumping hate

Come educate with fierce, scorching debate

Come quickly, blowing whistles on ______ gate

Come shredding scribblers who obfuscate

For we know we can win

With readers like Lynne

With leaders like Lynne

We know we can win

With writers like Lynne

With fighters like Lynne

We know we can win

With lawyers like Lynne

With warriors like Lynne!

Raymond Nat Turner © 2017 All Rights Reserved

 

Lynne Stewart, Lifelong Fighter and People’s Lawyer, Dies

Lynn Stewart. the People’s Lawyer, died on March 7. She was arrested on April 9, 2002, on charges of helping pass messages from her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric convicted of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center. She was convicted of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists. Originally sentenced to 28 months in prison, she was re-sentenced on July 10, 2010, to 10 years, an unprecedented move, for showing “a lack of remorse” after her initial sentencing. She was granted a “compassionate release” from prison three years ago due to Stage-4 breast cancer.  She was a fighter to the end.

Many characterized her conviction as an attempt to instill fear in those who seek to legally defend Arabs and Muslims who face government prosecution. This is especially timely today with renewed travel bans and threatened Muslim registries. 

After suffering a major stroke on March 1, Lynne Stewart died Tuesday evening at home.

You can donate here to help cover Lynn’s health care costs.

 

 

 

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