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Take action against British complicity in the US executions

asa winstanley | 14.10.2004 22:35 | European Social Forum | Anti-racism | Repression | Social Struggles | London

Falsely convicted death row survivors spoke at the Rampart social centre as part of the Rampart centre's involvement in ESF Automomous Spaces on Thursday night. Members of the US group, Pennsylvania Abolitionists United Against the Death Penalty spoke about the dire need for a Moratorium on executions in the United States. Ray Krone and Williams Nieves were amoungst the activists and spoke with insight and from bitter experience about their treatment at the hands of the very government which 'holds itself up as the example the rest of the world is supposed to follow'.

They asked for support for their demonstration THIS MONDAY (9:30am till 11am) at the Pennsylvania Foreign Investment Office, 78 Durham road, London SW20. It is vital they raise international support and awareness if their campaign is to be successfull.

London is the first leg of their European Tour to raise awareness and support. England is the number one foreign investor in the State of Pennsylvania and the activists called for divestment in Pennsylvania until the death penalty is abolished. The campaingers shared stories of various tactics used against the state to get their point across. Ultimately, they believe, that the State's loyalties will lie with the sources of their cash.

They also drew connections from the prison system in general to the racism and class bias inherit in the death penalty - poorer people can not afford their own lawyers. The US imposed war in Iraq was also mentioned - Cpl. Charles A. Graner, the US soldier infamously seen in pictures from out of Abu Ghraib Prison grinning over tortured Iraqis (see this story for more details) was a prison guard in Pennsylvania, and the activists mentioned that this sort of torture would have been nothing new to him and people like him.

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In some ways their stories reminded me of the struggles for justice of families in the UK who have had loved ones die at the hands of the Police whilst in their custody -

asa winstanley
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