23, 2000 Houston, Texas, for Immediate Release
Statement from Million for Mumia/
International Action Center:
vow to stand strong and maintain anti-death penalty momentum
in the face of the biggest legal lynching in the history of
a statement from Houston this morning, anti-death penalty activist
Larry Holmes of Millions for Mumia called last night's execution
of Gary Graham (Shaka Sankofa) by the state of Texas "The biggest
legal lynching in the history of the United States".
saw the execution as a clear-cut case of racist government terror
tactics. "Everybody knew he was innocent-even the conservative
New York Times ran three editorials questioning his guilt. And
yet before the eyes of the world, Governor Bush and
the reactionary Texas political establishment said, 'We don't
care. We'll kill him anyway.' And they did."
stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum of
the anti-death penalty movement at this critical moment
in the struggle. Teresa Gutierrez of the International
Action Center stated, "What they are doing here is a test,
to see what people will let them get away with. They are
trying to throw cold water on the fire of this movement,
to make people think that there is nothing they can do
to stop this killing machine. We need to show them that
we will not lie down while they kill our brothers and
depicts the oppression
of political prisoner Shaka Sankofa.
To download image click on it.
ahead to the next stage of the fight against the death penalty,
Holmes said, "What freedom loving people all over the world
are obliged to do is make sure that Gary Graham (Shaka Sankofa)
did not die in vain. We have to turn our deep anger at this
crime into a war against the racist death penalty that will
end it once and for all. The principle targets in this war must
be George Bush, Jr., and the republican convention, but also
Al Gore and President Clinton and the Democratic convention.
Not only is the Democratic leadership pro-death penalty, but
they said nothing to stop this from happening."
New York, anti-death penalty protesters took to the streets
at noon yesterday and were still out in force as Gary Graham's
execution was announced at 9:49 pm local time. At noon demonstrators
gathered in a picket line at New York Republican Party headquarters
at the Roosevelt Hotel, located at 46th St. and Madison Avenue.
The lunch- hour crowd of over two hundred people diminished
in size during the afternoon, but protesters maintained an energetic
and militant presence.
picket grew again at 5 pm to over four hundred people, and at
5:45, the group began a march to Times Square. At approximately
6 pm the group halted in the middle of the intersection of 42nd
St. and Broadway, blocking rush-hour traffic. When the police
gave the order to disperse, a group of ten protesters locked
arms in the middle of the street, refused to move, and were
the execution was announced, protesters began chanting "Shaka
lives, fight the power!" and "Avenge Shaka, free Mumia!" Eight
people were also arrested in Texas at the massive protest there,
and many other solidarity protests took place around the country.
Two of the New York arrestees have already been released, and
the rest will be arraigned this afternoon and evening.
ten were charged with blocking traffic, and some with resisting
arrest. Activists plan to next target the Republican Convention
in Philadelphia and the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles
this summer to demand the freedom for political prisoner Mumia