Against terrible odds, death row inmates actively protest executions. This from Texas inmate Rob Will, a member of the Death Row Intercommunalist Vanguard Engagement (DRIVE) movement:
Physical protesting for Kenneth has begun!
August 22, 2007
Physical protesting for Kenneth has begun!
I’ve been thinking about nothing but Kenneth’s pending execution date lately. He’s set to be murdered in eight days. Eight days until he may be strapped down to a gurney and murdered by TDCJ employees, employees of the state of Texas, paid executioners.
Earlier on KPFT news (www.kpft.org) I heard that yesterday there was a rally in Austin for Kenneth. They said that approximately 200 people attended and some people even conducted civil disobedience (i.e. sit-ins) though no one was arrested. When I heard the broadcast I felt an overwhelming sense of Solidarity. One of the main reasons I’ve fought for so long is to show that I’m willing to fight for myself and others here on Death Row. This is one of the main points we all strongly agreed on when forming DRIVE. We wanted to show people out there in the abolitionist community that we were willing to fight with them, and sacrifice for them, and stand with them in complete solidarity.
And on that note: physical protesting for Kenneth has begun! Yesterday, Reg Blanton and Randy Greer occupied the outside recreation yard and refused to leave. They’ll surely be writing updates about their action soon so I’ll be brief and say that Randy was assaulted with a tear gas grenade, then handcuffed and escorted back to his cell. Then, Reg was assaulted with the grenade and the Riot Team stormed onto the yard and forcefully restrained him.
I’m listening to a rebroadcast of the August 9 edition of Democracy Now! about Kenneth. His daughter, Nydesha, is speaking right now. Everyone needs to listen to this. Listen to his daughter speaking and if hearing her doesn’t bring tears to your eyes then you’re not human. I know a lot of people who read what I write aren’t involved with the anti death penalty community. Still, I’d like everyone to listen to that show or read the transcript.
Kenneth’s life is in the hands of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) and the Texas governor, Rick Perry. In an update I sent out yesterday, I asked everyone to send a letter to both the former and the latter. If you haven’t done that-go do it right now! Also, I’d like everyone in Texas to do something else. Contact your senator, house representative, and/or city councilperson and briefly explain Kenneth’s situation to them and ask them to contact the governor and the BPP to request clemency. [This can be done through Kenneth’s website, http://www.freekenneth.com or by clicking here.] Anyone with a conscience should be disturbed by the fact that Kenneth is scheduled to be executed in only eight days-simply for driving a car while another person a committed a murder, a murder that was spontaneous and Kenneth had no idea would occur. It’s absolutely outrageous!
I’ve been going back and forth, working out and doing other things while writing. I’ve been over here racking my brain trying to think of anything that I can do to help save Kenneth, anything we can do. I also heard on the news that a small protest rally went down in Houston today. I deeply appreciate all of the solidarity everyone has shown Kenneth. Ah ha! I just overheard two officers on the run talking about how Kenneth and John Amador conducted sit-ins today. I don’t really know John Amador but I know he has an execution date scheduled for the day before Kenneth’s.
This is very significant because there have never been two people on Death Watch protesting before their execution date. Excellent! By protesting, both of them are refusing to simply accept the injustice of their own murder. They’ve already begun direct actions and have vowed to not walk on the date of execution. I also heard that yesterday the European Union called for Gov. Perry to halt all executions. The governor released a statement essentially saying that the EU needs to mind its own business. A typically Texan thing to say.
As if we don’t live in a time of steadily-increasing globalization. That reminds me of something else I heard on the news today: 3,711 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Fourteen soldiers died today in a Blackhawk helicopter crash. Rick Perry is a vehement supporter of George Bush and the war in Iraq. He doesn’t care about the interests of working class people and if he allows Kenneth to be executed that will show just how sick and depraved the neo-conservative mindset is.
I’ll sign off by sending everyone who attended yesterday and today’s rallies for Kenneth an embrace of Strength and some serious vibes of Solidarity.
One Love One Struggle:
PS. Today’s execution marked the 400th for the lovely state of Texas.
“Yes, Dante, they can crucify our bodies today as they are doing, but they cannot destroy our ideas, that will remain for the youth of the future to come”
–Nicola Sacco, to his son. Sacco was a political prisoner who was unjustly executed on 08/22/27, exactly 80 years ago today.