Actions nationwide to save Troy Davis

Say no to the racist death penalty

Sept. 16, Hartford, Conn.
Photo: PSL Connecticut

Troy Davis

Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed Sept. 21 in the state of Georgia. On Sept. 16, coordinated protests took place in cities all over the United States. Here are reports from just a few of these actions.

Hartford, Conn.

Activists gathered in downtown Hartford, Conn. during rush hour. The rally began at a busy intersection with signs reading "Free Troy Davis," "End the Racist Death Penalty" and "Money for Education, Not Incarceration!"

The rally turned into a loud, multinational march that went around the Old State House and through downtown Hartford. People passing by received literature on Troy Davis and signed petitions opposing the racist death penalty.

Marchers chanted "Free Troy Davis! The system is racist!" and "No justice! No peace! 'Till Troy is released" as they passed busy bus stops and a community college.

Speakers at the end of the march called for continued action in support of Troy Davis. Chris Garaffa of the Party for Socialism and Liberation said, "We need more marches, we need more action, we need to escalate our actions to prevent the racist execution of Troy Davis. We need to continue until Troy Davis is free!"
-PSL Connecticut

Chicago Ill.

Today hundreds came out in Chicago, Ill. to denounce the scheduled execution of Troy Davis. The crowd chanted “Free Troy Davis now!” and “They say death row, we say hell no!”

Marchers formed a picket line on the sidewalk in front of the Obama Campaign Headquarters in Chicago. The marchers were an assortment of activists, students and people from the community. There were speeches tying Troy Davis to the racist criminal court system and demanding freedom for illegally imprisoned man.
-Jim Rudd

Philadephia, Penn.

Two demonstrations were held in Philadelphia to protest the racist death penalty and demand freedom for Troy Davis. Earlier in the day, students at Temple University gathered for a demonstration called by the Student Labor Action Project, Black Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, and other organizations. Students held signs, chanted, and collected signatures on a petition demanding the state of Georgia halt the execution.

At rush hour, scores of supporters of Davis converged at City Hall for another demonstration, co-sponsored by the Askia Coalition, ANSWER Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation and many other local groups. Several speakers addressed the crowd, denouncing the racist U.S. criminal “justice” system and pointing out that cases like Davis’s are all too common. Despite the impending execution date, protesters were still confident that determined struggle can save Troy Davis’s life.
-Walter Smolarek

Washington, D.C.

The chant of “Free Troy Davis” reverberated across Washington D.C. on September sixteenth when two rallies were held in opposition to Davis’s execution. At Howard University, students affiliated with the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and Students Against Mass Incarceration held an hour-long rally on campus that drew students and supporters from around the D.C. area.

A series of speakers explained the case and discussed its implications, calling on students to take action. Protesters handed out hundreds of fliers calling on students to call the Georgia Bureau of Pardons and Parole and demand clemency for Troy Davis. The rally on the Sept. 16 was part of an on-going campaign by a Students Against Mass Incarceration.

Also on the Sept. 16 Washington area activist groups held a march and rally to save Troy Davis that gained broad support in the crowded Columbia Heights neighborhood. At a busy intersection dozens of protesters picketed, rallied, and distributed literature about Davis’s case. After a brief march a further rally was held at a local church. Numerous passing cars indicated their support by honking, and many just passing by were swept up into chants and picketing at the spirited demonstration.

Participants at both rallies pledged to continue gathering signatures on petitions to save the life of Troy Davis, as well as to continue to raise awareness and flood Georgia officials with phone calls

-Eugene Puryear

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