Saturday, December 03, 2005

10 days. The clock is ticking. Save Tookie!

CONTENTS

- Reports and news about Tookie
Calling all educators -- Sign on with Educators for Tookie
Spread the word about December 8
Hear Stan's supporters on the air
Photos from the NYC November 30 Day of Action protest
Hollywood support for Stan
Author Mark Essig on clemency
Stan interviewed in the SF Chronicle
The New York Times on Stan's clemency appeal
Growing doubts about the death penalty

- Upcoming events

- Where to find more information

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REPORTS AND NEWS ABOUT TOOKIE

- CALLING ALL EDUCATORS -- SIGN ON WITH EDUCATORS FOR TOOKIE

We need everyone who gets this action alert to forward this part of the message to any educator they know--and ask them to take a moment right away and sign on with Educators for Tookie. Right now, close to 400 educators have signed our letter urging California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant clemency to death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams. Among the signers are Noam Chomsky, author and linguist; Howard Zinn, historian and author of People's History of the U.S.; Stephen Bright, law professor and director of Southern Center for Human Rights; and Steve Drizen, law professor and director of Center on Wrongful Convictions. A delegation of signors will deliver the "Educators for Tookie" letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger's office in Sacramento at Noon on Wednesday, December 7, the day before Stanley Tookie Williams' clemency hearing. The delegation will include Professor Philip Gasper who initiated this effort and has nominated Stan for the Nobel Peace Prize.

To download a copy of the "Educators for Tookie" letter, visit http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/downloads/TookieEducatorsLtr.pdf.

To sign the letter, send the following information to akim007@speakeasy.net: Name, Title, Name of institution (for identification purposes only), Home address, City, state and zip, E-mail address

- SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT DECEMBER 8

>From the Bay Area Save Tookie Committee--Please Forward Widely!

The Bay Area Save Tookie Committee invites you to...The People's Clemency Hearing for Stanley Tookie Williams!

When: December 8th, 2005 Where: Steps of the State Capitol Building in Sacramento Time: 12 NOON

On December 8th, 2005 Tookie's supporters far and wide will hold our own clemency hearing to coincide with the private clemency hearing that Gov. Schwarzenegger has scheduled regarding Tookie. Come hear the arguments for our side, have your voice heard and tell the governor to do the right thing. Stanley Tookie Williams Deserves Clemency! To endorse this event, please email Lichi_d@yahoo.com

In conjunction with this action in the Bay Area, we are encouraging people all around the country to hold vigils, press conferences and rallies on December 8, and call, fax or email the governor demanding clemency for Tookie.

- HEAR STAN'S SUPPORTERS ON THE AIR

People who support Stan are getting our message out through the media. Stan's advocate Barbara Becnel is kept busy constantly by requests for interviews. We've also heard of a couple other appearances by Stan's supporters this weekend:

Dave Zirin, author of the book "What's My Name Fool," about politics in sports, will be on Chuck D's Air America radio show to talk about Stan's case. The show airs at 11 pm to 1 am on Sunday nights, and an hour later on XM radio.

Phil Gasper, the initiator of Educators for Tookie, will be interviewed on CNN's "Saturday Morning" tomorrow (Saturday) around 8:30 am Pacific time, and on KALX radio in Berkeley on Sunday morning around 10:20 am Pacific time. You can listen to the KALX broadcast on the Internet at: http://kalx.berkeley.edu/quotes.htm.

- PHOTOS FROM THE NYC NOVEMBER 30 DAY OF ACTION PROTEST

http://homepage.mac.com/bronxred/ISO/PhotoAlbum46.html

- HOLLYWOOD SUPPORT FOR STAN

>From the Independent: Hollywood actors, musicians, church leaders and death penalty opponents staged protests and vigils across the US on behalf of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, founder of the Crips street gang who faces execution in less than two weeks unless the California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, can be persuaded to grant him clemency. The outpouring of support for "International Save Tookie Day" yesterday underlined the controversy surrounding Williams's death sentence and suggested that his execution, if it goes ahead, could be the most contentious judicial killing in America in years.

Read the full report at: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article330456.ece

- AUTHOR MARK ESSIG ON CLEMENCY

>From the New York Times: "Mercy" is not the first word that comes to mind in reference to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. But he now has an opportunity to change that. To do so, however, he'll have to buck a historic shift in America away from the granting of executive clemency... Commuting Mr. Williams's sentence would almost certainly bring charges that Mr. Schwarzenegger is soft on crime. But the governor has prided himself on being a political maverick. What better way to confirm his strength than by revealing the quality of his mercy?

Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/02/opinion/02essig.html

- STAN INTERVIEWED IN THE SF CHRONICLE

>From the San Francisco Chronicle: Stanley Tookie Williams is not afraid to die. The 51-year-old convicted murderer, who has spent nearly half of his life on Death Row, knows his scheduled execution date is less than two weeks away, but he says he is not fearful, that it's a prospect he has dealt with his entire life. "Being near death is nothing new to me or any other black male," Williams said Thursday during an interview in a visiting room at San Quentin State Prison. "I've been shot and close to death many times. This is no different. But I am praying that I live. Of course, I want to live."

Read the full article at: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/12/02/WILLIAMS.TMP

- THE NEW YORK TIMES ON STAN'S CLEMENCY APPEAL

>From the New York Times: Stanley Tookie Williams, once a leader of a notorious street gang and now perhaps the nation's most prominent death row inmate, leaned over a small wooden table in a cramped visiting cell here and tried to explain what he used to be and what he has become. "I have a despicable background," Mr. Williams said. "I was a criminal. I was a co-founder of the Crips. I was a nihilist." "But people forget," he added, chewing on a turkey sandwich, "that redemption is tailor-made for the wretched."

Read the full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/02/national/02prison.html

- GROWING DOUBTS ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY

>From the Washington Post: Ruben Cantu is long gone, executed by Texas authorities in 1993 after he was convicted of murdering a man during a San Antonio robbery when he was 17 years old. To the end, Cantu insisted he had been framed, and now his co-defendant and the sole surviving witness both say he was telling the truth. A state legislator called for an investigation this week as prosecutors moved to study the 20-year-old case. Opponents of the death penalty suspect that Cantu may be what they have long expected to find: an innocent person put to death. Houston law professor David Dow said the case shows that "we make mistakes in death penalty cases, too." The nation's 1,000th execution since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 took place Friday morning at 2:15. The execution of Kenneth Boyd in North Carolina for murdering his wife and her father comes at a time of growing misgivings over the death penalty, as reflected in jury verdicts, opinion polls and the actions of courts and state legislatures. Death sentences have declined to their lowest level in three decades, with juries sentencing 125 people to death last year, compared with an average of 290 per year in the 1990s. The number of inmates executed last year was the lowest since 1996, and the Supreme Court has twice in the past three years limited who can be punished with death.

Read the full article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/02/AR2005120200 146.html

- DONATE MUCH NEEDED FUNDS FOR OUR EFFORTS

The Campaign would very much appreciate any donations to help offset the costs of organizing to stop the execution of Stan Tookie Williams. The Campaign is sending Shujaa Graham, a former San Quentin death row prisoner, and Alice Kim, a national organizer with the CEDP, to California to help the on-the-ground efforts to stop the execution. We are asking for your help to cover these expenses - so please send what you can today. Checks can be sent directly to our P.O. box: CEDP, PO Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60625. If you would prefer to donate online, you can go to our Web site at http://www.nodeathpenalty.org and click on the donation button for instructions on how to do it. Thank you all!!

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UPCOMING EVENTS

- DECEMBER 3 - Baltimore Demonstrate at the Supermax prison Protesting the pending execution of Wesley Baker and in support of Stan Tookie Williams. At 2 pm at the Supermax prison, Madison and Fallsway. For information, call 410-271-1099 or e-mail SaveVernon@excite.com.

- DECEMBER 3 - Los Angeles Rally for Clemency for Tookie Leimert Park at 12 Noon. All the groups working in the Save Tookie committee in Los Angeles are asking everyone to come out. For more information, call 310-404-1739 or e-mail cenddeathpenalty@yahoo.com

- DECEMBER 3 - New Hope, Pa. Screening of "Redemption" and Informational Meeting. At 8 pm at the Saraswati River Yoga Center is located at 415 South York Road. Call 609-532-7750 or e-mail mpillischer@yahoo.com for information. Sponsored by the Lambertville Coalition for Peace and Reel Justice.

- DECEMBER 3 - New York City Screening of "Redemption" At the Bread Stuy Cafe, 403 Lewis Ave., Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

- DECEMBER 3 - New York City International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners Speakers include Ninotchka Rosca (Philippines, Gabriela network); Andra (Basque Country, Kalera Project); Ashanti Alston (Black Liberation Movement, U.S.), Frank Velgara (Puerto Rican Independence Movement, U.S. and Puerto Rico); plus a Palestinian comrade TBA and statements from David Gilbert and Marilyn Buck, white anti-imperialist political prisoners. At 7 pm at Columbia Law School, 435 W. 116th Street, Room 103 (C or 1 train to 116th Street). $5 donation requested.

- DECEMBER 3 - New York City Stan Tookie Williams: Blue Rage, Black Redemption A discussion of Tookie's book sponsored by Brownstone Bookstore and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. At 6 pm at Brownstone Bookstore, 409 Lewis Ave. (at Decatur Street). Take the A/C to Utica Ave. For more information, call Glo at 718-207-3980 or email gloriaross@gmail.com.

- DECEMBER 4 - Los Angeles Candlelight Vigil for Tookie At 7 pm at Schatzi on Main, 3110 Main St., Santa Monica. Bring your candles. Organized by the Save Tookie Committee-LA. Call 310-404-1739 for information.

- DECEMBER 4 - San Francisco Movie Screening of REDEMPTION Hosted by Danny Glover, Barbara Becnel and Kevin Epps, who will present a short program before the movie to explain the status of Stan's case and let people know how to get involved in the movement to stop the execution. At 5 pm at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St. (next to the 16th Street and Mission BART Station). This event is a fund-raiser for the San Francisco Save Tookie Coalition. Tickets are $5 for students/youth/seniors and $10 for the general public. Co-sponsors and endorsers welcome; donations appreciated. Contact Danielle at Danielle@vanguardsf.org or 415-581-2512 for more information about endorsing or co-sponsoring the event. Tickets available at http://www.victoriatheatre.org or at the door.

- DECEMBER 4 - San Quentin, Calif. Vigil and Action by Religious Imperative to Stop State Murder Continuous vigil and action to begin at San Quentin Prison's Main Gate. Beginning Sunday, December 4th from 2 pm to 4 pm and continuing on December 5th beginning at 10am.

- DECEMBER 5 - Toledo, Ohio Screening of "Redemption" At 6 pm at the Kent Branch library.

- DECEMBER 6 - Berkeley, Calif. Panel Discussion on Clemency for Tookie Featuring Alice Kim, national organizer for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty; Shujaa Graham, exonerated California death row inmate; and a message from Tookie himself. At 7pm at UC-Berkeley, in 101 Moffit.

- DECEMBER 6 - New York City Town Hall Meeting to Save Stan Tookie Williams Featuring Ras Baraka (deputy mayor of Newark, N.J.), a representative of SOS (former gang members in Newark who negotiated a truce based on Tookie's Protocol for Peace), Anthony Papa (author and victim of the Rockefeller drug laws), and Yusef Salaam (wrongfully convicted in the Central Park jogger case and recently exonerated), the Welfare Poets (spoken word/hip hop artists), and many more. At 7 pm at the National Black Theater of Harlem, South Tower-Temple of Liberation, 2031 5th Ave. at 125th Street (take the 2,3 to 125th Street or 4,5,6 to 125th Street). $5 donation.

- DECEMBER 6 - San Rafael, Calif. Capital Punishment: Who Are We Executing? A film and discussion about death row and the death penalty. At 7 pm at the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, 1520 Grand Ave., corner of Grand and Acacia Streets.

- DECEMBER 6 - Toledo, Ohio Screening of "Redemption" At 6 pm at Brewed Awakenings.

- DECEMBER 7 - Chicago Stop the Execution of Stan Tookie Williams Featuring pardoned Illinois death row prisoner Madison Hobley; exonerated Illinois death row prisoner Darby Tillis; Gloria Johnson, mother of Illinois prisoner Montell Johnson; Alice Kim of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty; and more. At 7 pm at Northeastern Illinois University, Student Union, (Room TBA), 5500 N. St. Louis. Call 773-955-4841 for information.

- DECEMBER 7 - Sacramento, Calif. Educators for Tookie Deliver their message A delegation of educators who signed a letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger calling for clemency for Stan will meet to deliver their message to the governor. At Noon on the steps of the State Capitol Building. E-mail akim007@speakeasy.net for information.

- DECEMBER 7 - San Diego Vigil, Press Conference, Rally and Demonstration At Noon at the Hall of Justice, 330 West Broadway. For information, call 619-804-1685 or e-mail tkalonji@Hotmail.com.

- DECEMBER 7 - San Diego Screening of Redemption Followed by a discussion of death penalty work and the campaign to save Tookie Williams. At 6:30 pm in City College Room B103, sponsored by Resistencia Estudiantil.

- DECEMBER 8 - Los Angeles Demonstration for Clemency Join the Youth Justice Coaltion and Save Tookie Committee. At Noon, outside Central Juvenile Hall and the Juvenile Court on Eastlake, 1605 Eastlake Ave. E-mail freelanow@yahoo.com for more info

- DECEMBER 8 - Rochester, N.Y. Stop the Execution of Stan Tookie Williams At 7:30 pm at Rochester Institute of Technology, SAU Room Clarke A.

- DECEMBER 8 - Sacramento, Calif. People's Clemency Hearing for Tookie At Noon, on the steps of the State Capitol building. Called for by the Bay Area Save Tookie Committee.

- DECEMBER 8 - Washington, D.C. Rally to Save Tookie Williams At 5:30 pm at the African American Civil War Memorial, 10th and U St. NW

- DECEMBER 9 - Los Angeles Screening of "After Innocence" A film about the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated--innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence. At 7 pm at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 West Washington Blvd. Sponsored by the LA Coalition Against the Death Penalty. For information, call : Project:Involve at 310-432-1280.

- DECEMBER 10 - Berkeley, Calif. Screening of "Redemption" and Discussion At 6 pm at Long Haul, 3124 Shattuck (across the street from La Pena).

- DECEMBER 10 - Chicago Speak Out for Justice At 3 pm at University Church, 5655 S. University, in Hyde Park.

- DECEMBER 10 - New York City Save Stan Tookie Williams. Featuring Fred Hampton Jr., who visited Tookie along with other human rights activists; Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Herman Ferguson, co-chair, National Jericho Movement; Lynne Stewart, to be sentenced in December by the U.S. government; Masai Ehehosi, Free Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (Rap Brown) Campaign; and others. At 4 pm at Salem Methodist Church on 129th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. A cultural program and dinner will be served. $10 donation at the door. For information, call the Free Mumia Hotline at 212-330-8029, or 914-941-6046

- DECEMBER 11 - New York City Discussion of "Blue Rage, Black Redemption" and Screening of "Redemption" At 5 pm at Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, between Stanton and Rivington. Call 212-777-6028 for information.

- DECEMBER 11 - San Francisco Sister Helen Prejean Speaks One of the world's best-known opponents of the death penalty speaks out at an ACLU event. At 2 pm at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel, 55 Fourth Street at Mission. Tickets are $25 per person, $10 for students and low income, $250 table sponsor.

- DECEMBER 12 - San Francisco to San Quentin Walk for Abolition The Walk For Abolition begins at the Palace of Legion of Honor in San Francisco at 7 am and ends at the gates of San Quentin Prison around 6 pm. For information, contact Rev. Lyle Grosjean at 510-895-8203 or email l.grosjean@sbcglobal.net.

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WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION

Download a fact sheet about Stan's case: http://www.savetookie.org/tookie_fact_sheet_10.18.05.pdf

Read the story of Stan's life in his book, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, available for $22. To order, visit http://www.nodeathpenalty.org or call the CEDP national office at 773-955-4841.

Do a showing of the movie Redemption, the TV movie about Stan's life, starring Jamie Foxx. The movie is available at Blockbuster.

Get "Save Tookie" buttons from the Campaign to sell to supporters. Get 25 buttons for $20, and shipping is free. Call the CEDP national office at 955-4841 to order.

Check out the Save Tookie Web site: http://www.savetookie.org/

And the Campaign to End the Death Penalty Web site: http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/

Order copies of the New Abolitionist. This issue has stories by and about Stan, as well as other information about fighting the death penalty. You can get a bundle of 25 New Abs, shipped free of charge at a cost of $12.50. To order, call the CEDP office at 773-235-0778. Yearly subscriptions are also available.

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