Saturday, March 18, 2006

A veteran anti-death penalty leader praises the new generation of activists

Gloria Rubac, who has been working against the death penalty in Texas for decades, praised the spring breakers in an email she sent to various lists. Gloria was in Huntsville on March 15 protesting alongside the group of students from spring break. You can hear her voice in the background on one of the audio blogs below.

A big hat's off to Scott Cobb with the Texas Moratorium Network and Hooman Hedayati and all the youth with the Texas Students Against the Death Penalty for their hard work this week. These young folks made an enthusiastic abolitionist statement yesterday in Huntsville outside the Walls Unit where the state of Texas murdered Tommie Hughes.

The young folks energized everyone with their continuous chants and optimistic enthusiasm for the abolition of the death penalty. They were also very respectful of the family and ended the protest right before 6:00 PM and requested that the crowd remain silent during the execution.

Tommie's family had around 60 people in Huntsville and they knew that we were all there for them. Tommie's mother and grandmother both witnessed the execution and Tommie was blessed to have two such strong women in his life. Tommie's two uncles who joined the large protest thanked everyone for being there and for supporting the family.

The students weren't only from Texas, but from several other states, including as far away as Oregon. While other students were heading to South Padre and other beaches, these young people were showing all of us the best of their generation. They are participating in all week in activities, workshops, lobbying, seminars, petition-signing and yesterday's bus trip to Huntsville. They were organized, prepared, disciplined and energetic. And most of all, their seriousness about fighting the racist death penalty was contageous.

As always, it was great to see Renny Cushing with Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights who is forever ready to lend a hand here in Texas. Renny will be speaking with the youth today in Austin. Check out the students'web site at:

From the Abolition Movement, we say to you young people, "You are the best! Stay serious and committed and abolition will surely be a reality, even in Texas!"

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