Behind Bars

Musings in a Time of Global Imperial War

By Lynne Stewart

A presentation to the April 9th and 10th antiwar demonstrations in New York and San Francisco.

When April, the cruelest month comes upon us, we as a movement turn our focus from “local” struggles to the Imperialism we cannot escape and increasingly, no nation on earth is exempt from. Back in the ’60s when I was a young struggler, our Vietnam antiwar demonstrations were exhilarating, they lifted us. We knew we were supporting the winning side in peoples’ liberation and we could not lose.

Today, things are murky. The enemy is more difficult to rally against. It is muddled.

Attention should be paid to the fact that the U.S., the world’s greatest arms dealer, has supplied both sides of the conflicts in Libya, Bahrain. So any death there or elsewhere in the Middle East is stamped “Made in the USA.” Win/Win for the profiteers.

Nevertheless the babies are still dying—as they died in Iraq (collateral damage, said Madeline); and now as victims of KILL teams and drones in Afghanistan. As they die in Japan—a result of natural disaster? Yes. But also the misguided capitalism that addicts the world at the behest of the almighty dollar.

But, struggle and rally we must. Lift our voice against the outrage. Force attention to be paid. For over 40 years I have raised my voice, and put my body front and center. Now I raise it from behind the walls where more and more good people who have said NO to government are paying for their audacity. More must join us. We must prevail.

I received this poem from a Canadian Supporter in Ottawa John Bart Gerald.1

Now From a Distance

when you see this time

this grey day

from the distance of history

ask if some

without pretence

fought for freedom

lived with decency

by caring risked their

portion of life


against the business of death

We Stand Against the Business of Death. End the Unjust Wars!