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Denial of Clemency for Williams Cites Support for Class-War Prisoners

by Varlet Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 7:27 PM

California Governor Arnold "The Terminator" Schwarzenegger's denial of "Tookie" Williams' clemency petition is an appalling document, showing not only Scwarzenegger's moral cowardice in hiding behind the jury's decision, (which the bourgeois press is emphasizing) but also that he is an extreme right-wing apologist for the frame-up trials and long incarcerations of political prisoners around the globe, from Nelson Mandela to Mumia Abu-Jamal.

California Governor Arnold "The Terminator" Schwarzenegger's denial of Stanley "Tookie" Williams' clemency petition is an appalling document, showing not only Schwarzenegger's moral cowardice in hiding behind the jury's decision in favor of execution, (which the bourgeois press is emphasizing) but also that he is an extreme right-wing apologist for the frame-up trials and long incarcerations of political prisoners around the globe, from Nelson Mandela to Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The denial of clemency statement just issued by the office of the Governor of California shows the strong class bias and political basis for the decision. Schwarzenegger specifically cites Williams' statements of support for political prisoners as one of his principal reasons for denying him clemency:

"The dedication of Williams' book 'Life in Prison' casts significant doubt on his personal redemption. This book was published in 1998, several years after Williams' claimed redemptive experience. Specifically, the book is dedicated to 'Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid, George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the countless other men, women and youths who have to endure the hellish oppression of living behind bars.' The mix of individuals on this list is curious. Most have violent pasts and some have been convicted of committing heinous murders, including the killing of law enforcement [sic]." ent.pdf

ALL of the cases cited by Governor Schwarzenegger in his clemency denial statement are of class-war prisoners, many of whom have been released from prison long ago after having conclusively proven that the criminal charges levied against them were frame-ups by local, state and federal authorities -- created as a way to prevent them from remaining effective political activists opposing the machinations of the US government at home and abroad.

That Schwarzenegger has the gall to include Nelson Mandela on the list of people with "violent pasts" is astounding. In fact, NO ONE on this list can be said to have had a "violent past" in the way Schwarzenegger implies - unless, of course, he wants to claim that Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt's experience as a US Marine in Vietnam is proof that he had a "violent past"! The cases brought against nearly every single person on the list have subsequently been proven to be utterly unfounded, based upon police frame-ups, false accusations, fabricated testimony, withholding of exculpatory evidence and falsification of forensic lab data. It is absolutely repulsive that Schwarzenegger should use Williams' written statement of support for men and women who have been declared innocent and released from jail after spending years behind bars as another reason why Williams should be executed!

To top all the duplicity and slander contained in the denial of clemency statement, the inclusion of Nelson Mandela's name on this list of people with indefensibly "violent pasts" places Schwarzenegger firmly among the outright apologists for the South African apartheid state!

It must be pointed out that "Tookie" Williams is not a "class-war" prisoner. He is a lumpenproletarian who co-founded one of the most vicious street gangs in the US. It is admirable that he seems to have risen far above his background as a "Crips" gang leader, writing books warning youth to avoid the tragic and deadly "thug life," and that he espouses admiration for, and a defense of class-war prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal.

But that does not mean that "Tookie" Williams is on a par with Jamal, Pratt, Peltier or any other stalwart working-class fighter against US imperialism. Let's use Mumia Abu-Jamal as an example. We, as Trotskyists, defend Mumia Abu-Jamal as a "class-war prisoner" because he is an innocent victim of a frame up by the capitalist state, which has identified Jamal as one of the greatest defenders of the working people of the US. We defend Jamal as a "class-war prisoner" because he has dedicated his entire life, from the age of 15, to the fight against the racist oppression of black workers in America. "Tookie" Williams has no such record to show in his background; not even close. We simply defend "Tookie" Williams because we as Trotskyists are opposed to the death penalty, period - no matter WHO is being threatened with murder by the capitalist state. The death penalty is inherently racist, and amounts to nothing more or less than "legal lynching." The threat of death sentences means, in the deeply corrupt and racist US capitalist legal system, that innocent people will be wrongly convicted and executed. 13 men have been released from death row in Illinois alone because they were later found to have been innocent after years and years in death-row hellholes. Now, there is a tenuous moratorium on executions in Illinois, which could be overturned by the bourgeois political parties at their convenience. We as workers must fight for the outright abolition of the death penalty because it threatens our class almost exclusively, and it has historically specifically targeted our most selfless, stalwart worker-leaders.

That Arnold Schwarzenegger would dive to such great depths in order to justify the state-sanctioned murder of "Tookie" Williams should not come as such a surprise: after all, Schwartzenegger's father was a Nazi Stormtrooper back in Austria during WWII [] and Gov. Schwarzenegger himself has repeatedly espoused his own personal admiration of Hitler:

"Mr. Schwarzenegger was asked to name his heroes — 'who do you admire most[?]'

'It depends for what,' Mr. Schwarzenegger said, according to the transcript in the book proposal. 'I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker.' " ["Schwarzenegger Admired Hitler, Book Proposal Says" c9b2418c7bcc3&ei=5070&hp]

The rotten apple does not fall far from the diseased tree that bore it.

Clemency now for Stanley "Tookie" Williams and every other death-row prisoner in the racist US Prison System!

Abolish the Death Penalty!


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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 8 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
I couldn't read it all J Stalin Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005 at 7:45 AM
Prtetty, pretty, pretty good fresca Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005 at 8:06 AM
Exactly fresca Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005 at 3:32 PM
Nobody said he was a political prisoner johnk Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005 at 3:52 PM
Varlet replies to, uh, the replies! Varlet Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 8:37 AM
Thanks for the Clarification johnk Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 2:43 PM
Very nice fresca Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 5:43 PM

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