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Rally to Save Tookie Williams (Article and Photos)

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Hundreds of supporters of condemned youth activist and Nobel nominee Stan Tookie Williams rallied Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 in South Los Angeles' Leimert Park.

Rally to Save Tookie...
othersideviewofaudience.jpg, image/jpeg, 3072x1959

Above: Side View of Crowd Attending the Rally

Hundreds of supporters of Stan Tookie Williams, a Nobel-nominated activist and author working to end gang violence and counsel troubled youth, rallied Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 in South Los Angeles' Leimert Park. Mr. Williams is a death row inmate at San Quentin who is scheduled to be executed on December 13th, just ten days from the date of the rally, unless Governor Schwarzenegger intervenes to commute his sentence to life without parole.

Speakers included a broad array of youth workers, former gang members, ministers of local churches, anti-death penalty activists and others. The mood was positive but urgent.

Speaker after speaker placed the onus of Mr. WIlliams' life or death squarely upon the shoulders of Governor Schwarzenegger, who is meeting with Mr. WIlliams' representatives this December 8tth, a mere 5 days prior to his scheduled date of execution. Schwarzenegger has not revealed anything regarding his present thinking on the subject, stating only that he takes it seriously and plans to consider it carefully.

It is indeed the case that the Governor now holds the power of life or death over Mr. Williams, and the consequences of his decision will be laid squarely at his feet, whatever he decides. Attendees were urged to keep up the pressure on the Governor, whos phone number is 916-445-4633 (apparently only actually answered by humans during business hours), and whose email address is governor@governor.ca.gov (available 24 horurs). Full contact incormation can be found at http://www.toookie.com and also at http://www.savetookie.org.

Commentary:

-------------------

The case of Stanley "Tookie" Williams raises serious questions regarding the fundamental goals of our criminal justice system. Central among these is whether that system exists to protect society, or is instead a means for

carrying out vengeance against those who, at some time in their lives, have caused harm to others.

It is generally acknowledged that Williams is not, at the present time, any threat to society. It is also beyond dispute that Williams has, for the past eleven years, encouraged young people to reject the nihilism of gang life, and has, through his published writings, provided valuable

and intimate insights into the forces that propel so many young people, especially those from poor communities of color, into gangs. For this work, he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize--not once, but seven times.

To say that our present system neglects the task of rehabilitation would be a phenomenal understatement. But the fact that a prisoner who has somehow managed to rehabilitate himself within this unsupportive environment nonetheless remains on a path toward imminent execution shows the degree to which this system has strayed from

any concern that its actions be of real benefit to society, and instead has embraced a crude and unthinking retribution.

Williams' writings are not just addressed to at-risk youth; when he writes about the conditions that lead youth into gangs, and that make incarceration such a thoroughly unredeeming experience for all but the most remarkable inmates, he is talking directly to all of us. These are conditions of poverty, unemployment and racism that we can usefully address with social programs, education, and police and prison reform, if only we would stop blaming those caught up in them long enough to take a good look at what needs to be done.

There are thousands of others languishing in our prisons who lack the determination and eloquence to communicate the roots of their dilemma to the public. When a rare voice arises among them that brings this human crisis to our attention, should our first impulse be to silence it? Such

a response can only encourage denial and lead to the further disintegration of our communities.

Williams' main hope of avoiding death is a clemency order from Governor Schwarzenegger. I would urge readers to contact the governor regarding such an order at governor@governor.ca.gov. Additional contact and other information can be found at http://www.tookie.com and http://www.savetookie.org.



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Group Around Fountain

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Group Around Fountai...
crowdaroundfountain.jpg, image/jpeg, 1781x1470

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Death Penalty Activist

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Death Penalty Activi...
deathpenaltyactivistspeaks.jpg, image/jpeg, 1659x1881

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Governor, You Cut Kids' Schools; Now Will You Kill Their Teacher?

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Governor, You Cut Ki...
govyoucutkidsschoolsnowwillukilltheirteacher.jpg, image/jpeg, 2917x2286

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L.A. Sentinel Article on Case

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

L.A. Sentinel Articl...
lasentinelarticle.jpg, image/jpeg, 2755x1692

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Literature Tables

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Literature Tables...
literaturetables.jpg, image/jpeg, 3072x2304

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Minister Tony Muhammad

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Minister Tony Muhamm...
ministertonymuhammad.jpg, image/jpeg, 2846x2258

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Minister Tony with FOI Guards

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Minister Tony with F...
ministertonymuhammadwithfoiguards.jpg, image/jpeg, 1567x1612

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Moderator

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Moderator...
moderator.jpg, image/jpeg, 2498x2031

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Prayer 4 Tookie

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Prayer 4 Tookie...
prayer4tookiecroppedin.jpg, image/jpeg, 915x1435

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Rev. James Lawson

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Rev. James Lawson...
revjameslawsonofholmanchurch.jpg, image/jpeg, 1565x1947

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Save Tookie!

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Save Tookie!...
savetookie.jpg, image/jpeg, 1330x2394

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The Black Riders

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

The Black Riders...
theblackriders2.jpg, image/jpeg, 2963x1944

This group was described as a youth organization with an anti-gang orientation. They have attended a number of rallies in support of Tookie Williams.

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Black RIders Give Black Power Salute

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Black RIders Give Bl...
theblackridersgiveblackpowersalute.jpg, image/jpeg, 2905x1937

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Tookie's Ex-Wife Speaks Out for Clemency

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Tookie's Ex-Wife Spe...
tookiesexwifespeaksoutforclemency2.jpg, image/jpeg, 1743x1369

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Tree of Life or Death

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Tree of Life or Deat...
treeoflifeordeath.jpg, image/jpeg, 2145x2811

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Video Interview Regarding Flaws in Forensic Evidence

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

Video Interview Rega...
videointerviewonflawsinforensicevidence.jpg, image/jpeg, 3072x2304

I see that this interview has been posted to the Indymedia site.

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View of Crowd from Side of Stage

by Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 AM

View of Crowd from S...
viewofcrowdfromothersideofstage.jpg, image/jpeg, 3072x1986

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 69 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Correction: Not "Anti-gang youth"! Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 2:02 AM
Indymedia - Would appreciate incorporating this correction Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 2:16 AM
Correction Made LA IMC Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 2:35 AM
Thank You Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 3:50 AM
Deconstruction of "It Figures..." Carl Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 1:35 PM
Arnold will meet Bob Monday, Dec. 05, 2005 at 4:38 PM
Carl Tramp Tuesday, Dec. 06, 2005 at 1:50 PM
AMAZING tOM Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2005 at 11:23 AM
tookie John Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2005 at 12:47 PM
Spare me the heartfelt pleadings to spare 'Tookie's' life Bridget Johnson Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2005 at 4:43 PM
Tookie's Usefulness johnk Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2005 at 5:37 PM
Historical Context johnk Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2005 at 7:12 PM
justice for the victims, death to tookie williams guess Thursday, Dec. 08, 2005 at 12:13 AM
Re: Justice for the Victims Carl Thursday, Dec. 08, 2005 at 8:34 PM
Reprise fresca Thursday, Dec. 08, 2005 at 9:15 PM
justice for the victims guess Friday, Dec. 09, 2005 at 2:03 PM
Against the Death Penalty Ken Friday, Dec. 09, 2005 at 10:48 PM
Article about the Black Riders johnk Sunday, Dec. 11, 2005 at 2:44 AM
Death Penalty Opposition Links johnk Monday, Dec. 12, 2005 at 5:22 PM
Abilish death penalty worldwide Masuch Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 5:20 AM
The DP should certainly not be abolished dudley sharp Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 5:33 AM
Tookie williams vanity tatum Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 4:04 PM
Why kill someone that is stop murders tokkie williams Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 4:20 PM
Arnold was the TERMINATOR Lisa - California Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005 at 1:41 AM
berlynn lynnbe Thursday, Apr. 23, 2009 at 10:45 AM

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