Fighting Back: A Benefit for the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee and the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal – Featuring Lynne Stewart and Michael Ratner – Event Poster and Speech Notes – PDF

2007 Fighting Back: A Benefit for the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee Event Poster

2007 Lynne Stewart Defense Committee Press Conference Flyer

2007 Fighting Back Speech Notes

San fran 4


Jeff Lynne — Mumia– Pam— Barbara Lubin—-

Thrilled to be here–

Some are pessimistic—I am not–

Not about lynne not about mumia not about panther 8 not about gitmo-

I am angry—but understand struggle it takes to win these battles- and what their persecution represent about this county—

what mlk triplets of racism extreme materialism and militarism–

—and I should also say—the lashing out of a declining empire—(military and exec)

(terrify us—impose their will)

—but it is a time of hope—illustrated by the struggles we are here to talk about-

–help us understand what we have achieved—-and impt of public opposition and mass movements–

Lynne—on one hand —not good—impt lawyer—out of where she did best; personal—

Post 9/11 poster lawyer—Ashcroft intimidate lawyers—understood stand between

the oppressed and the oppressor—did not work-600-

Still facing 28 months—

But a measure of her victory—she is with us today—courage—

Measure is govt 30 years—less than a month for each —

Measure is judge recognized the impt of her work-1000s of letters

Appeal—not over—stop the govt and ultimately—get her back to work—-

Testament to our power–

And of course Mumia–25 hard years on death row and in isolation—

But look what he has done and the leadership he has given to our struggle for his vindication and that of the oppressed everywhere—he never lost hope

Voice of the voiceless—

If authorities in Pa had their way he would not be with us today—

But once again the peoples struggle

Not over–momentous moment coming up—

That could tell us whether Mumia lives or dies or spends the rest of his live in jail—

You have all made a difference so far—must continue—-

I am confident but only to extent the outcry continues—-

Mumia of course writes about how torture did not begin with the so called wot—

Guantanamo, abu Ghraib and Bagram—and we all know it did not—

Familiar with v-n; soa; kubark—

Mumia talks about a case we are sadly becoming familiar with —the panther 8 recently arrested here for alleged murder in the 70’s—-

Personal experience—one of the lawyers—in 1976—

There for the testimony of ruben scott—new Orleans—cattle prod—-blankets water–

A shadow of a man—-NY position—we did not do it—-New Orleans cops did

No accountability-

(reminds you of arar and rendition to Syria—they did it— not US-out sourcing torture)

Will they try and use this so called tortured evidence—-nothing surprise—as think they can in gitmo—-

Panther 8—beginning of the struggle—

Program from new Orleans to gitmo—moving

Which brings us to what I broadly call Gitmo—or the so called GWOT—Gitmo just a shorthand—-for violation of fundamental protections for human beings—protections earned and fought for over hundreds of years

What is special now; what is to me unique—is the open and notorious nature of what is being done; not embarrassed by it—proud of it—

The fact that there is a torture program and public polices reflect that—approved at the highest levels of our government—

Pundits judges and others debate it–accepted as ok if not ness–

The fact that it is bragged about and torture is made fun of—Cheney talking about the dark side; treating waterboarding as a little dunk in the water; bush about certain methods being necessary—-

The fact that as a policy and practice it is carried out on a mass scale—at gitmo, in Iraq and in Afghanistan

And the fact that impunity—

And fact a congress done little or nothing about stopping it—amnesty—

What is US doing: (A message of terror to Muslim world)


Torture does not stand alone–part of a series of illegal unlawful immoral practices—-

in wot—-

Practices that I believe are the foundation of a police state—no check on power—

-Off shore penal colonies/detention without trial—gitmo—-bagram—-iraq—-devils islands—Secret sites—-majid khan—detained forever

Kidnapping—rendition— all over world—-arar

Trials—kangaroo—if they do them

Big Operation Condor—

(of course others you are familiar with others — (roundups wiretap unwarranted criminal pros)

Admin a clear roadmap of the police state—-

Look at in a little more detail

Foundations of a police state—-

Detention without trial

Keys—military order number 1—-still there—pick up anyone in world and hold without trial or lawyers—-no access—magna carta– (torture)

–Gitmo begins—where can they put the people—need a place with no court —

Law free zone—

First case      no one take small group hate mail represent families

Worst of worse

Won in s ct in 2004—have legal rights—habeas—

What does that mean?

Bush admin not happy—

Lawyers there—torture

600 hundred—-

How people picked up–and who the leaflet rendered on way to gitmo

Bush to congress and dta—

Again s ct 2006–

Again right to habeas—

Again to Congress–one part of MCA—confirmation of police state by congress:

Strips habeas from any non-citizen—even perm residents– designated as enemy combatant—govt asked gitmo cases dismissed—-

Circuit 2-1 decision

Mca Allows US citizens designated—habeas—ask Jose Padilla what it has done—

Today–almost 6 years litigation again— Circuit 2-1 decision

New prisons—some of the worst camp 6—-

Still the 395 never a fed hearing—

Number released

Even US almost 90 innocent yet nowhere to send them—-

Attack on the lawyers–stimson

Why a police state? What else would you call it?

But in some way a diversion—-Bagram no access—-

Aspect 2—what happens in off shore without habeas and rights Torture— first heard a few articles—dana priest

Tipton—story—-march 2004—

Unraveled– abu ghraib

Not a few bad apples—-


Prosecutions down

All to prove—not up—

But it’s there—the road map—

Wilkerson called a cabal—cheney Rumsfeld etc—new paradigm

Yes—-but others went along and cong to this day has not stopped—

No hearing – mca: narrow definition use of evidence still secret sites; ban law suits

Memos: Jan 2002–Gonzales (back upped by yoo)? We have a problem memo—Geneva and US law make aggressive interrogation (inhumane) criminal—war crimes

In future some prosecutor may go after us—

So what is answer–just say Geneva non apply then US crim law not apply–­Based on that Feb 7-02—spirit of Geneva unless military ness and Geneva not apply to al qaeda—

Then –August 1, 2002 memo–Yoo Bybee these are the law for exec branch–

Balking at cia etc—worried—not just a Geneva problem—

CAT—Torture statute problem—

How to make legal what was flatly illegal—

Torture defined so narrowly that even most egregious conduct not torture—organ failure—

Even if torture a defense: pinochet in name of national security—or

Necessity defense–

What followed: Rumsfeld techniques in gitmo—al qahtani—

Then to Iraq and Abu Ghraib—

Secret CIA sites—water boarding Henry Alleg

Why—if it does not work—-terror—vengeance—

So a clear map—and govt officials and former govt officials who should be tried

Yoo bybee — Argument just a legal memo–unwarranted arguments with foreseeable consequences—

Came in a context—where knew the results—

Argue really believes legally president that power—problem is unlawful—

No accountability except lower down—

Aspect 3

Extraordinary Rendition —disappearances—condor—

What is it—kidnapping—snitch a person—anywhere in world–and take them —

Choices—US Gitmo bagram secret site or another country—

Could be anyone—US citizen or not—

Then what I have told you before—no chg, lawyer or trial—disappeared

And of course Torture—-majid khan—-

Gitmo people—Egypt–

3 you may know—arar el masri and Egyptian cleric—osama nasr—

Arar—story—watch list

May be hundreds—

Europe in uproar– European parliament

Italy—25 agents

Germany—el masri


Fight back–

Aspect 4—if ever try a person—Military Commissions—special trials—

No one tried—

6 years an illegal method—regularly const tribunals—

S ct said no—

Mca—evidence from torture and coercion—

Look at 4 together: pick up anywhere in world outside of law take them to place outside of law torture them and keep them forever and if tried kangaroo ct——-
What say about authority under law?

Finally address

The amnesty problem—

No investigation or prosecution thought had protection

Hamdan and application of Geneva
All of a sudden criminal

MCA amnesty—-

We must break it—-

  1. Europe has begun:–italy cia and segrena germany Spain
    Mumia street
  2. civil cases here—
  3. growing impeachment movement—-no issue—-
  4. criminal case in germany—-univ jurisdiction—Rumsfeld
    Visit to germany—

One message: all of us lynne Mumia — –and call on you to do—

Stand between the oppressed and the oppressors— it has and can make a diff