FS Letters to the editor

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FROM TROY DAVIS

Thank you

I wanted to thank you [Political Staff Workers Union, which FS staff members belong to] so much for your lovely card as well as the donation you sent.

I’ve been so blessed to have so many wonderful people fighting for my life. Every day is a new struggle but through God I’m still standing strong and proud to fight forward. The mountain that was once before me has been chipped away little by little.

Although I seek to walk free, my fight is for justice and humanity. With the help of all of you we’ll win and celebrate together soon. Thanks for believing in me.

Troy Anthony Davis #657378, GDCP P.O. Box 3877 G-2-33, Jackson, GA 30233

Editor’s note: This letter was sent two weeks before Troy Davis was executed by the state of Georgia for supposedly killing an off-duty cop, a charge Davis denied with his dying breath. There was certainly room for doubt; in the intervening twenty years, 7 witnesses recanted their stories.

Over 600,000 people signed petitions demanding clemency; on Sept. 21, the day of the execution, there were dozens of vigils across the U.S. and Europe; and such disparate supporters as Pope Benedict XVI, Jimmy Carter, and ex-FBI Director William Session came to Troy Davis’ defense.

The tragic outcome of this case underscores the fact that it is long past time for the U.S. to ban the death penalty.


SAN FRANCISCO 8

Torres is cleared

On Aug. 18, Judge Moscone dismissed the last of the charges against San Francisco 8 defendant Francisco Torres.

This case starts with an attack on a police station in 1971, in which a San Francisco Police Sergeant was killed. In 1973, over a dozen Black Panther Party members were arrested in New Orleans and at least three were tortured and forced to sign statements regarding the 1971 attack.

A 1975 prosecution based on the torture-induced statements was thrown out of court.

Then, in 2007, the case was reopened and charges were brought against the men who became the San Francisco 8.

In 2008 all charges against five were dropped. Jalil Mun-taqim and Herman Bell, who have spent decades in prison as political prisoners, pleaded no contest to reduced charges of conspiracy and manslaughter with no prison sentences. This left a single charge against Cisco Torres, which was just dismissed.

Four and a half years of mass support have broken the back of a vindictive prosecution organized by Homeland Security, the FBI, and then California Attorney General (now Governor) Jerry Brown.

Free the SF8 Web site


FROM BEHIND BARS

Prisoner rights upheld

I am writing to update you on a court ruling in my lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) — Pelican Bay State Prison.

Prison officials have a standing practice of criminalizing the culture of Black August [commemorating Black resistance], as well as our legacy as freedom fighters from behind prison walls, by suggesting that George Jackson is a prison gang member, and labeling us also.

On Jan. 13, 2011, I settled the lawsuit on the following terms: “That the Director of CDCR would initiate a review of their mail policies within 60 days with regards to what is ‘contraband’ and ‘gang activity,’ in particular as it pertains to Black August, George Jackson, etc., and that the necessary changes will be made to mail policies.”

As can be expected, they are dragging their review, so the judge ordered them to show that they are complying with the settlement. I’ll keep everyone posted. I bid you peace and real freedom!

Kijana Tashiri Askari, s/n M. Harrison #H54077, P.O. Box 7500/D3 122/SHU, Crescent City, CA 95531


CLIMATE CHANGE

Global dimming

I have a few problems with Violent weather … and the unnatural causes of climate control” [Vol. 32, No. 4]. The biggest one is blaming global warming for the droughts in Africa and elsewhere.

A program available on YouTube, called BBC Global Dimming, lays out the real causes of droughts in Africa. They bring up the recent finding that photons from the sun are more important than heat in causing water to evaporate.

Global dimming has killed and is killing more people than global warming.

Gordon Hamilton, Seattle


CHARTER SCHOOLS

Not the answer

I really loved Are charter schools the answer to inequality in public education? [Vol. 32, No. 4].

Radical Women recently showed the film The Inconvenient Truth about Waiting for Superman (available at www.waitingforsupermantruth.org).

The educators, parents and students interviewed all have personal experience with charter schools. They present a dismal picture of unequal schools where plenty of children are left behind. The facts will blow you away.

Christina López, Seattle


The FS welcomes your feedback, opinions, and resource info. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@socialism.com.

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