Friday, September 16, 2011

Stop The Execution of Troy Davis: Protest September 17, 2011 in Montreal

I want to tell you about a case of horrendous injustice that is close to my heart. Troy Davis is a man who has been in prison for almost half of his life. He was convicted of murdering a police officer in the U.S. state of Georgia. In almost two decades, which he has spent on death row, the case against him, based largely on eyewitness testimony, has fallen apart. Here is a statement from one of the witnesses the prosecution used in the original trial:

Antoine Williams-
“They asked me to describe the shooter and what he looked like and what he was wearing. I kept telling them that I didn’t know. It was dark, my windows were tinted, and I was scared. It all happened so fast. Even today, I know that I could not honestly identify with any certainty who shot the officer that night. I couldn’t then either. After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because I cannot read.”(bold italics mine)

The state of Georgia has set the execution date for Troy Davis on September 21, 2011. This is the fourth time the state has tried to execute Troy Davis. Each time so far, a stay of execution has been granted to Troy because of massive protesting, petitioning and other solidarity actions. If a stay of execution is not granted this time, his appeals will be over, and he will be killed by the state of Georgia next Wednesday.

Today, September 16, is the Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis. Please check if there are actions in your city happening. If so, attend them. If you are a practicing Jew, consider it an act of Teshuvah before Elul, of running to do a mitzvah. If you are a practicing Christian, consider it an act of Christian Love. If you are of another religion, or an atheist, consider it an act of practicing human decency and kindness, and of working to create a world we all want to live in - a world that respects true justice.

There are many actions you can take, even if you are not physically able to attend the solidarity events - you can sign petitions, post information on your facebook or twitter accounts, etc. Petition signing can take as few as three minutes (less if you have already sent petitions with Amnesty International before).

Tomorrow, September 17, 2011, a Die-In will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal. The address is 1155 Rue Saint Alexandre, H2Z 1Z2; the action has been organized by the Concordia University chapter of Amnesty International. I will be attending, and I hope you will too if you are able to make it.

Here are some links to help you take action:

Amnesty International - Troy Davis' Page
Easy-to-sign petitions, educational videos and more general information.

Amnesty International Concordia Die-In Page
More specific information about tomorrow's Die-In action in Montreal at the U.S. Consulate.

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