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From the Editor

By now subscribers should have received the annual PLN matching grant fundraiser. I hope that those who can afford to make a donation do so. While there are many worthy causes out there I think that PLN is one of the few where your activist dollar will get the biggest bang for the buck.

We will receive up to $15,000 in a matching grant from a PLN supporter, dollar for dollar, for all donations made between now and January 31, 2007. Please help us receive the entire amount. We will report our progress in the next few issues of PLN. Your support, above and beyond the amount PLN receives from subscriptions and advertising is what helps us continue publishing and supports our advocacy on behalf of prisoners around the country.

That advocacy includes events like my attending the National Lawyers Guild convention in Austin, Texas in late October where I gave a presentation on the rights of disabled prisoners and moderated a workshop on the issue of sexual assault of prisoners. I am also the national jailhouse lawyer co-vice president of the NLG. PLN columnist Mumia Abu Jamal is the other.
One of our goals is not just to inform people about the plight of prisoners in the United States but to get them to do something about it.

You can flip through the pages of this issue of PLN or any other and see that we are covering issues and reporting news no one else. If PLN stopped publishing tomorrow, where would you get this high quality and quantity of prison and jail related news, regardless of the price. We have not raised PLNs subscription rate in a number of years, despite rising printing and postage costs, while expanding the size of the magazine. If you think an independent penal press is worth supporting, please send a donation to PLN to support our work.

On October 16, 1006, New York criminal defense attorney Lynne Stewart was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison for violating federal prison rules by issuing a press release that her client, a political prisoner from Egypt, did not support a ceasefire in that country. While much attention has been given to the fact that the government blithely violates the attorney client privilege of prisoners it dislikes, the larger issue of why any prisoner shouldnt be able to speak directly to the press is ignored. Her prosection is obviously an attack on the attorneys and advocates who represent political prisoners. The government had sought a sentence of 30 years against Stewart, 67. She is free on bail while appealing her sentence.

A few days before this president Bush signed legislation allowing the torture of military prisoners and giving total immunity from suit to the military and CIA torturers who commit these crimes against humanity. Abuse and torture are something with which American prisoners are all too familiar. As well as the relative impunity with which these acts are carried out. PLN has consistently made the connection between the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and what happens in American prisons and jails.

As the holidays approach, I hope you will consider a gift subscription of PLN or some of the books we distribute as gifts for your friends and family. Enjoy this issue.

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