Monday, December 05, 2005

8 days. The clock is ticking. Save Tookie!

THE CLOCK IS TICKING... Stop the execution of Stan Tookie Williams!

CONTENTS

- Reports and news about Tookie
A weekend of protest for Stan in Los Angeles
Rock Out/Speak Out for Tookie
Protesters sit in against 1,000th execution in 30 years
Sign on with Educators for Tookie
"Redemption" screenwriter speaks out for Stan
A plea for clemency
A man's life as a redeemer
San Jose Mercury News editorial favors clemency
San Francisco Chronicle excerpts Stan's writings
Donate much-needed funds for our efforts

- Upcoming events

- Where to find more information

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REPORTS AND NEWS ABOUT TOOKIE

- A WEEKEND OF PROTEST FOR STAN IN LOS ANGELES

>From Dana Blanchard: We had a very successful rally in Leimert Park of about 350 people on Saturday in support of clemency for Stan. Many of the speakers talked about Stan's work in helping turn kids away from gangs, like Vicky Lindsey from Project Cry No More, whose son was killed by a gang member. Other people spoke about the racism in Stan's trial and the fact that he is innocent. Bonnie Williams, Stan's first wife, demanded that the Governor do the right thing and grant clemency. The event included people for the gang intervention community, the anti-death penalty movement, the religious community, and many people from the neighborhood where Stan grew up who have been touched by his work. On Sunday night, we had a candlelight vigil outside Arnold's restaurant, Shatzi's, in Santa Monica. Local junior high and high school students came out and spoke about being touched by Stan's work. One young woman said she wants Stan to live so she can thank him personally for his work in her community, and if he dies she will not have a chance to meet him. Oscar de la Torre, a school board member from Santa Monica, spoke about Stan's redemption, and many activists and parents from the local area were there in support of clemency. Overall, things are going really well in LA. The NAACP speaking tour is coming through on Tuesday for a press conference on the steps of city hall. We also have our next planning meeting on Tuesday night and plans for a support rally on Thursday as the clemency hearing is happening in Sacramento. Next weekend, if the Governor says no to clemency, we have planned action at his house in Brentwood on Saturday and a rally outside his church, Saint Monica's, on Sunday.

- ROCK OUT/SPEAK OUT FOR TOOKIE

>From Laura Nelson: About 60 students and community members came to a Rock Out/Speak Out for Tookie event in Madison, Wisconsin. The event was sponsored by the Madison Campaign for Free Speech on TV and the Coalition Against Legal Lynching (CALL), a student group formed after two busloads of Madison students went to the Millions More Movement in Washington D.C. The students watched the movie Redemption on the way there and decided to form a group dedicated to connecting the issues of the death penalty and the justice system to racism and discrimination against the poor. The event featured musical acts and speakers. Si Kahn, a singer/songwriter and social activist performed his anti-prison pieces and then provided back up for exonerated death row inmate Darby Tillis, who sang the jailhouse blues and gave a riling speech about Tookie and the death penalty. Alice Kim, from the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, also spoke about Tookie's case. Adrian Lomax, a prison activist who was recently released from prison after 24 years, spoke about jailhouse snitches and why prosecutors who use them usually have no legitimate case against the defender. Lomax claimed that there is good evidence that Tookie is innocent because the case against Tookie relied almost solely on people who received dramatic reductions in their sentences after testifying against Tookie. After listening to political speakers the crowd enjoyed musical acts by local political hip hop artists who drew the connections between race and the death penalty.

- PROTESTERS SIT IN AGAINST 1,000TH EXECUTION IN 30 YEARS

>From the New Standard: Death penalty opponents marked a somber occasion overnight as North Carolina took the distinction of putting the 1000th person to death since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. The state put convicted murderer Kenneth Boyd, 57, to death by lethal injection at 2:00 AM, as around 100 protesters marked the occasion with a candle light vigil, by Reuters's estimate. Boyd was pronounced dead fifteen minutes later. The resumption of the death penalty almost 30 years ago has long been a major issue for humanitarian groups, who often point to the fact that only a handful of countries around the world--none of them Western-style democracies--still mete out the ultimate punishment for crimes... According to Reuters, police arrested more than a dozen protesters for trespassing after they crossed onto prison property this morning and knelt in prayer. As part of the demonstration, death penalty opponents read the names of the other 999 executed convicts.

Read the full article at: http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/2644

- SIGN ON WITH EDUCATORS FOR TOOKIE

More than 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.

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

- "REDEMPTION" SCREENWRITER SPEAKS OUT FOR STAN

>From the Los Angeles Times: L.A. County prosecutors, among others, say "Williams deserves to die for his crimes and for helping start a gang that has claimed thousands of lives over the years." Although there is more than one account of the Crips' genesis, Stan himself says he was a co-founder of the gang, and no one, least of all him, denies that this was a bad thing. But he's on death row because a jury convicted him of four murders, period. Justice needs to be specific. If the prosecutors want him killed for starting the Crips, they need to bring charges, go to trial and get a conviction. The truth is, a new type of street gang was emerging in Los Angeles' poor neighborhoods in the early 1970s, and a Crips-like cancer, with its culture of retaliation and blood vengeance, would have spread with or without Stan Williams. Law enforcement officials say that Stan's redemption can't be real because he refuses to participate with corrections officials in "debriefing" sessions about gang members. Does this really signal "no redemption" and "no atonement"? Last month, one prisoner killed another in the lunch line at the L.A. County Jail. How long do you think Stan Williams would last in San Quentin, surrounded by Crips, if he started cooperating? His chances of surviving lethal injection are probably greater. So it's disingenuous to say his lack of cooperation signals anything but a desire to live.

Read the full article: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-redeem4dec04,0,1 001830.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary

- A PLEA FOR CLEMENCY

>From the Los Angeles Times: In deciding whether Stanley Tookie Williams should die Dec. 13 for murdering four people, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's unenviable task is to play God. The question he must answer is whether Williams' reformation during the last 16 years is sufficient to let him live out his life in prison... Jonathan Harris, a lawyer working for Williams, asks: If he is not granted clemency based on his personal redemption and the thousands of people he has positively touched, who would you give it to? Although affirming Williams' conviction and death sentence, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals took the unprecedented step of urging the governor to seriously consider a clemency petition from Williams.

Read the full article at: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/editorials/la-op-deathpenalty4dec 04,0,2214884.story?coll=la-home-sunday-opinion

- A MAN'S LIFE AS A REDEEMER

>From the San Francisco Chronicle: A .45-caliber bullet didn't lead Diego Garcia to give up the violent gang life he had known for years. Stanley Tookie Williams did. Garcia, who grew up in the housing projects on Richmond's Easter Hill, joined a gang at age 9 and took part in drug deals, beatings and drive-by shootings before he was shot when he was 18. Months of recovery gave him plenty of time to think about making changes. "I was completely confused. I didn't know whether I should choose the right path," said Garcia, now 30. "I read Tookie's books and it inspired me. I related to him. The books are different because it is the co-founder of the Crips giving you a message. Tookie caught my attention."

Read the full article at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/12/04/MNGH0G2P9H1.D TL

- SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS EDITORIAL FAVORS CLEMENCY

>From the San Jose Mercury News: Arguments for clemency are based on the past decade, during which Williams has forcefully renounced his gang affiliation, written books for children and teens to steer them away from gang life, and talked to numerous groups in conference calls to give tips on helping children avoid a past like his. His attorneys say Williams ``has become a symbol of hope and purpose to those who most need to believe -- the disadvantaged youth of our great nation who live with a sense of hopelessness in circumstances which test the human spirt.'' Schwarzenegger has talked in the past about rehabilitation needing to play a stronger role in our prison system. It is in society's interest to inspire convicted criminals to do what good they can with the rest of their lives. Executing Williams now could raise the question: Why bother to try to change?

Read the full article at: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/13325424.htm

- SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE EXCERPTS STAN'S WRITING

>From the San Francisco Chronicle: Excerpts from books written by convicted murderer Stanley Tookie Williams with the aim of guiding children away from gang life: PRISON TEST: "To get a feel for what it's like to live in a prison cell, test yourself. Spend 10 hours -- nonstop and alone -- in your bathroom at home, which is probably about the size of a cell. Lock yourself inside with no more than a radio, a blanket, a book or magazine, and a couple of sandwiches. To quench your thirst, drink tap water from the sink. You can talk to family members through the door, but don't open it. Even if you're hungry, thirsty, lonely or tired, don't open the door. When your 10 hours are up, think about the fact that I have spent approximately 150,000 hours in prison cells less clean and less comfortable than your bathroom."

Read the excerpts at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/12/04/EXCERPTS.TMP&fee d=rss.news

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

- DECEMBER 6 - Austin, Texas Screening of "Redemption" At 7 pm at Ruby's BBQ (Back Patio), Guadalupe and 29th Street.

- 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 - Burlington, Vt. Voices from Death Row Panel Discussion Featuring Darby Tillis, exonerated Death Row prisonerfrom Illinois; and Marlene Martin of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty; with a message from Stan Tookie Williams. At 7 pm at the University of Vermont, Lafayette Hall, Room 108. Call 802-363-4699 for more information or directions.

- 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 - Austin, Texas Emergency Press Conference At 5:30 pm at the Governor's Mansion (10th and Lavaca).

- 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 - New York City Save Tookie Protest in Times Square At 5 pm at Times Square, by the military recruiting station. Sponsored by: Save Tookie Committee-NYC. E-mail nyc@nodeathpenalty.org or call 518-253-5029 for information.

- DECEMBER 8 - Rochester, N.Y. Stop the Execution of Stan Tookie Williams Rally At 5 pm, downtown at the Hall of Justice, 99 Exchange Blvd.

- 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 10 am, 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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