Yesterday we held a demonstration and vigil in downtown Richmond for Troy Anthony Davis. He was scheduled to be executed at 7pm last night in Georgia. There was an inspiring turn out of supporters for the demonstration and vigil, with local groups such as the Anarchist Black Cross, Defenders of Freedom Justice and Equality, Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Amnesty International. There were students from local community colleges, VCU, and UofR.
In Monroe Park ,while we were holding an 8 minute silent vigil, we received word that the execution had been postponed. Clapping went up in our crowd of 40-50 people. We learned that this stay might be as brief as moments, or could be hours, and that the warrant for Troy’s death was good until midnight.
Georgia executed Troy Davis after 10pm last night. Another casualty to the race and class wars in this country. Another victim to be added to the ever growing list of people murdered by the state.
We must not forget Troy Davis. We must not forget, as he said, that there are many more Troy Davis’. We must not forget the failure of petitions, letters, protests, UN requests, Amnesty International requests, NAACP requests and more. Asking did not work. The justice system does not work. The people, locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally are not listened to when we use our voices.
Now is the time to start thinking about how, as a movement, we can be listened to, and what that will take. What we must do to create real change. How we can stop people from being tortured and dying in jails and prisons. We can start addressing all of these issues here in Richmond. We can build stronger movements. There are next steps to be taken.
There is no peace for Troy Davis or anyone else to rest in. We must honor their memories by continuing to struggle for freedom and against oppression in all of its forms.