Saturday, December 10, 2005

3 days. The clock is ticking. Save Tookie!

There's only 3 days left to save Stan Tookie Williams.

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- Reports and news about Tookie
More than just waiting...Get ready for action
Media reports on Schwarzenegger's deliberation
Stan's supporters hold a "People's Clemency Hearing"
Report on the December 6 Save Tookie meeting in New York City
Mumia Abu-Jamal speaks out for Stan
Wife of murder victim calls for support of Stan's efforts
NAACP supports clemency
Bianca Jagger on Stan's case
Amnesty International calls for clemency
Stan's case reveals the flaws in the death penalty
On seeing Wesley Baker die
Donate much-needed funds for our efforts

- Upcoming events

- Where to find more information

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We have all spent the last two days since the end of the private clemency hearing called by Gov. Schwarzenegger on pins and needles--watching and waiting for news, which now could come today or tomorrow or even Monday. The reason we have gotten this far is because so many people have decided to make their voice heard and take a stand for Tookie. Because of this mobilization, Stan's case is national news, and is raising all kinds of questions about the continued use of the death penalty, the reality of racism in American society, and what is needed to change the conditions and violence of inner-city life. As Phil Gasper, initiator of Educators for Tookie, put it. "The campaign has done great work--we have forced Schwarzenegger to consider clemency. Now it's up to him." There is good reason to hope that the decision will go Stan's way. But many different groups have planned actions for Monday the 12th, in the event that Gov. Schwarzenegger decides not to grant clemency. In the Bay Area, activists will gather at San Quentin Prison to protest the pending execution. In Chicago, a protest is planned at the Federal Building. The events that we know about are listed below--there are a lot that we don't know the details about. Others can be found at the Web site at: The Campaign urges all chapters, organizations and individuals to make plans for a December 12 action or event if clemency is denied. It could be a picket at Republican headquarters or a federal building or a state of California office, or civil disobedience, or a campus speakout, or a forum and film showing. If your group has an event planned, please e-mail us at Of course, if Schwarzenegger does the right thing, we should be ready to celebrate, too! But if not, we want to make sure our voices of opposition and outrage are heard--we will not be silent.


>From Bay Area ABC News: Governor Schwarzenegger is still struggling with the decision of clemency for death row inmate Tookie Williams. The founder of the Crips gang is scheduled to die Tuesday unless the governor decides to spare his life. Schwarzenegger's stand -- I'm thinking about it.

Read the full article at:

Read other news reports at:


>From Inside Bay Area: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger heard last-ditch arguments Thursday for and against the execution of convicted murderer, Crips gang founder and anti-gang activist Stanley Tookie Williams. As about 100 of Williams' supporters and death penalty opponents held a "people's clemency hearing" on the Capitol's east steps, the governor met privately for an hour with Williams' defense team, Los Angeles prosecutors and others connected to the case... Outside the Capitol on Thursday, activists called Williams a priceless resource for steering at-risk youths away from lives of violence. Among those who spoke was Donald Lacy, 46, of Oakland, whose 16-year-old daughter, LoEshe, was slain in a 1997 drive-by shooting near McClymonds High School. He said for a time after his daughter's death he was angry and wanted revenge, but after prayer "realized that I had to forgive." "We must save Stanley Tookie Williams' life so he can save other young people's lives," Lacy said. "He's saving lives all over the world...No one can do what this man can do. Regardless of what his past is, I can only judge someone by what they're doing now," Lacy added after leaving the podium. "I'm looking at the big picture."... Shujaa Graham, 55, of Maryland, who served several years on California's death row before being exonerated and released in 1981, has become an anti-death penalty activist and said Thursday all potential executions are equally important. But Williams' case takes on special meaning because of the work he does: "We can continue to use him as an instrument to reach men and children I or you could never reach."

Read the full article at:


>From Lee Wengraf: On December 6th, the Save Tookie Committee-NYC organized a rally and benefit for Stan Tookie Williams. This event was held at the National Black Theater in Harlem. A multiracial crowd of about 125-150 attended the event. The event was incredibly powerful; many of the speakers and performers made very concrete and personal connections about what Tookie has meant to them, and the racism and injustice exemplified by his case. Yusef Salaam and Anthony Papa both spoke about their experiences in the criminal injustice system. Yusef Salaam, who was wrongfully convicted in the Central Park Jogger case as a teenager, had his youth stolen from him in prison. When he was finally exonerated, he received no apology or compensation. Yet it was clear that his spirit had not been broken and he read a poem he wrote called "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" that spoke about the need to continually resist. The Central Park jogger case was heavily used by politicians in New York State in the early 1990s to whip up support for bringing back the death penalty, and Yusef put the stakes quite clearly when he said, "If the death penalty had been law, I would be a ghost today." Ras Baraka, the deputy mayor of Newark, spoke alongside members of rival gangs who had brokered a ceasefire using Tookie's Protocol for Peace. Baraka condemned the priorities of funding incarceration and not education, and the conditions--like Tookie himself describes--that lead people to join gangs. Rosa Clemente, from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, got a standing ovation when she called on Bush to answer for his crimes in the murder of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis, described all people on death row as political prisoners of a racist system, and showed how barbaric the death penalty is. Speaking on behalf of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, I talked about the stakes in Tookie's case and the fight to abolish the death penalty entirely. Other speakers and performers included: spoken-word artists Fish Vargas, the Welfare Poets, 3rd Party (hip-hop band), Sundiata Sadiq (Free Mumia Coalition), Panama Alba (Justice Committee, Vieques Brigades, former Young Lord), Randy Fisher (Hip Hop Youth Summit Council) and King of Kings (youth hip hop/anti-gang initiative). Brian Jones of the Save Tookie Committee and Harlem ISO and Daniel Coles of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty did a fantastic job MC-ing. This was an amazing event and many people left full of anger and a sense of conviction to keep up the momentum over the next few days. Many who spoke/performed and who attended are connected to grassroots struggles and personal experiences with the criminal injustice system. Many people came up to us afterwards to thank us for organizing the event. As one of the poets wrote the next day, "the vibe in the room was fantastic." Many people signed up to get involved in the Campaign, for the next week and beyond.


>From Mumia Abu-Jamal: The name Stanley Tookie Williams, is both famous and infamous. Infamous because of his multiple murder convictions in California, which led him to Death Row; Famous because of his works while there, and the growing movement to spare his life, and perhaps achieve his freedom from California's notorious San Quentin prison... Several months ago, the anti-death penalty publication, The New Abolitionist (published by the Chicago-based Campaign to End the Death Penalty), published a brief letter from Tookie in which he addressed the issues of both his innocence and his sincerity. He wrote: "My detractors in the media and elsewhere have questioned my redemption. Their doubt is driven largely by my open apology ( to Black folks and others who might have been offended by the fact that I helped create the Crips youth gang in Los Angeles 34 years ago. My detractors argue that I could not be redeemed because I have not apologized to the family members of the victims that I was convicted of killing. But please allow me to clarify. I will never apologize for capital crimes that I did not commit -- not even to save my life. And I did not commit the crimes for which I was sentenced to be executed by the State of California..." It can be said that Tookie didn't receive a fair trial, by any standard. How can he then face death? The death penalty has been losing steam for years, largely because of cases which were 'won' by unfairness. With the support of the people, that may be ending, as the fight for the life of Tookie begins!

Read the full article at:


>From the NAACP: Linda Owens, the widow of Albert Owens, who was slain during a convenience store robbery, issued a statement today in support of Stanley Tookie Williams' efforts to bring an end to gang violence and his call for peace between gangs. In a statement sent to attorneys for Williams for public release, Ms. Owens said: "I, Linda Owens want to build upon Mr. Williams' peace initiative. I invite Mr. Williams to join me in sending a message to all communities that we should all unite in peace. This position of peace would honor my husband's memory and Mr. Williams' work."

Read the full article at:


>From Bruce Gordon of the NAACP: Stanley Tookie Williams is a one-of-a-kind human asset who, if granted clemency, will continue to touch the lives of many young Americans, particularly from the African-American community. For this reason alone, I strongly encourage Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant him clemency. Stan's voice of peace and hope must not be silenced on Dec. 13.

Read the full article at: /EDG7VG4KK71.DTL


>From Clemency is "the historic remedy for preventing miscarriages of justices where judicial process has been exhausted." While we are constantly being reminded of the shopping days we have left before Christmas, Stanley Tookie Williams has a far more urgent countdown, his life clock is ticking away, while he waits for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to decide his fate.

Read the full article at:


Amnesty International is calling on the California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to exercise his power to halt the forthcoming execution of Stanley 'Tookie' Williams, a death row prisoner due to be executed next week in the US state.

Read the full article at:


>From David A. Love in the Taiwan News: The story of Stanley "Tookie" Williams tells you all you need to know about why the death penalty should be abolished... Williams, 51, who was convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to die for the murder of four people in two robberies in 1979, says he is innocent. For two decades in prison, Williams has dedicated himself to peace. He negotiated a truce between the Crips and Bloods gangs. He has written nine books, including children's books that warn about the dangers of gang involvement. He has been nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature four times and once for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read the full article at: id=10&did=d_1134187796_13837_8FFBEC2462C949CACCC823A32CA7EC2C0004DD0D_22&are a=taiwan&area_code=00000


>From Dave Zirin and Mike Stark on CounterPunch: No, we weren't in the room. We didn't see the technicians spread and shackle his arms. We didn't see the priest lightly graze Wesley's cheek and whisper in his ear. We didn't hear his "five or six rasping breaths" before his heart stopped. We weren't there earlier when Wesley ate his last meal, breaded fish, green beans, bread, fruit punch and milk. We weren't witness to an execution that had more in common with a lynching than anything resembling justice. We were right outside, shivering in the lightly falling snow. We were joined by roughly fifty others, including Wesley's mother Delores who also couldn't stop trembling, but not from the snow as her quiet sobs revealed. Delores is no stranger to seeing her children die. She already had buried two other sons, swallowed whole by violence. Now the state of Maryland would snuff out a third. In an earlier interview with the press she stated, "I understand the [victim's] family, the suffering they have been through. I just don't want to lose my son. I think I've had my share."

Read the full article at:


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 sent 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 and click on the donation button for instructions on how to do it. Thank you all!!

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- 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 Featured speakers include Julia Sitko, former teacher in South Central LA; Madison Hobley, exonerated prisoner and member of the Illinois Death Row 10; Darby Tillis, Illinois' first exonerated death row prisoner; Greta Holmes, Campaign to End the Death Penalty; hip hop artists from the Southwest Youth Collaborative; and more. At 3 pm at University Church, 5655 S. University, in Hyde Park.

- DECEMBER 10 - New York City Save Stan Tookie Williams/Celebrate Mumia's Legal Victory 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 10 - Seattle March for Stan on International Human Rights Day March with the Save Tookie contingent at the International Human Rights Day march and rally in downtown Seattle. Meet at 12:30 pm sharp by the Save Tookie banner on the corner of 2nd and Madison, by the Federal Building. At 1pm, we will march to Westlake and rally support for this peacemaker. We will be talking to people and gathering signatures for Stan's clemency petition. Email or call 206-851-4862 for information.

- DECEMBER 11 - New York City Discussion of "Blue Rage, Black Redemption" and Screening of "Redemption" At 5 pm at Bluestockings, 177 Allen Street, between Stanton and Rivington (take the V/F to Second Ave.). 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 - Chicago Protest for Stan At 4:30 pm at Federal Plaza (Dearborn and Monroe). Sponsored by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, call 773-955-4841 for more information.

- 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

- DECEMBER 12 - Seattle Screening of "Redemption" At 7 pm at Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St. $5 donation requested at the door. Email or call 206-851-4862 for information.

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Download a fact sheet about Stan's case:

Read the story of Stan's life in his book, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, available for $22. To order, visit 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:

And the Campaign to End the Death Penalty Web site:

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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