Rally For a Moratorium on Federal Executions
By Abe Bonowitz
"...I'm gettin' tired of seein' you people on the front page..."
When I picked up the messages on the toll free phone number sponsored by
Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CUADP), I knew we had
made a "hit." A newspaper somewhere in the country had run a photo that
included one of our signs at a demonstration. As a result, we were getting
calls from those who don't like our message. In this case, the photo was of
an action by anti-death penalty activists in Terre Haute, Indiana, home of
the Federal execution chamber.
Activists in Terre Haute and Indianapolis held demonstrations July 26 in
solidarity with a national rally in front of the White House in Washington
DC. Despite the rain, almost 100 people turned out for a two-hour "Rally for
a Federal Moratorium." The rally was held as part of the Fellowship of
Reconciliation's 40-day "People's Campaign for Nonviolence, and was
cosponsored by CUADP, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty,
and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.
Activists in Indiana have been working with CUADP and the Abolitionist Action
Committee to plan actions in resistance to the first prisoner killing under
current federal laws. Juan Garza had been scheduled to be killed August 5th,
but when it became apparent that the feds don't have their clemency
procedures in order, a stay was issued. For the Indiana activists, this was a
chance to do a dry run, so to speak. Plans are under way for a five-day,
80-mile march as well as a 24-hour vigil in the days prior to the first
federal execution. Those who would like to get involved with those events by
marching with us, or by becoming a co-sponsor, may visit
http://www.abolition.org and click on "Upcoming Actions." That page includes
further details and a letter writing action on the Garza case.