We are going into a difficult day. Today the state of Georgia is gearing up to execute Troy Davis. However, we have not been sitting quietly by here in Atlanta and everywhere worldwide.
When I learned the stunning news Tuesday morning, I paused for a moment to absorb the gravity of the two-word text message I had just read: “Clemency Denied.” But there was no time for reflection; we called for a “Day of Protest” and called on everyone with the power to act to do so. Around 700 people last night on the capitol steps for an energetic protest, chanting “Not in my name!”
Today is a “Day of Vigil.” We encourage you to make it known that you will not passively accept Georgia’s planned killing of Troy Davis at 7pm. Wear a black armband and write “Not in my name!” on it. Tell people about Troy Davis and why we must abolish the death penalty. If we have not managed to stop the execution by 6pm, gather with others in vigil.
The state of Georgia is about to do something horrific. It is prepared to kill a person who may well be innocent. Human life and human rights are on the line. The reputation of the state of Georgia is on the line. The confidence of Georgians and Americans in their justice system is on the line.
The state of Georgia has proven our point: the death penalty is too great a power to give to the government. Human institutions are too prone to bias and error to be entrusted with this God-like power. The death penalty is a human rights violation whether given to the guilty or the innocent and it must be abolished.
While we have time, let us not let the committee of Pontius Pilots off the hook! We want to appeal to anyone who has any direct power or influence to act to prevent this execution. If those you appeal to try to claim, “I don’t have the power to intervene,” Remind them that they do have power, even if it is through their influence and not their legal authority.
Here’s what you can do:
Fax or call the Parole Board and ask them to reconsider their decision and grant Troy clemency. Fax: 404-651-8502 and 404-651-6670 (try both as they will be busy), Phone: 404-656-0693 and 404-656-5651
Fax or call the Savannah District Attorney, Larry Chisolm, and ask him to urge the local judge to vacate the execution warrant. Fax: 912-652-7328, Phone: 912-652-7308.
Call the local judge, Penny Haas Freesman, and ask her to vacate the warrant. Phone: (912) 652-7252
Call the Governor, Nathan Deal, and ask him to use his influence to encourage the board to grant clemency. Phone: 404-656-1776.
In Georgia, stand with us, saying “NOT IN MY NAME!”
a) Capitol vigil – 6pm
b) Prison vigil – 5:30pm across the street from the prison at Towaliga County Line Baptist Church (153 Short Road, Jackson). Take I-75 to Exit 201 and head toward the Hess gas station (turn left (east) off the interstate if heading south on I-75) on Barnesville-Jackson Rd. (Ga 36) and turn right past the gas station.
This is a time to be heard, not a time to submit. And please remain respectful to those who answer the phones. There is no need to be rude or to yell – the strength of our message will come through the volume of calls we generate, not in the decibels of our individual voices.
The thought of what may happen at 7pm tonight is outrageous, but it is all the more reason to continue to have hope, to continue to take action, and to continue to fight against the unjust death penalty.
(Tune into Democracy Now for a special broadcast from the prison between 6-8pm)