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TX Death Row Protest

On June 28, 1995, two wings of Texas death row prisoners demonstrated for an hour against a scheduled execution. The prisoners shouted, set fires and banged on the bars. The execution was stayed by a court order. One hundred prisoners have been executed in Texas since 1982, by far more than any other state. Some 400 prisoners sit on death row in Texas. In late June the prisoners announced they would embark on a "chain" hunger strike to protest the death penalty. Their demands include a moratorium on all U. S. executions and an investigation into the racist and anti-poor application of the death penalty. In the strike pairs of prisoners fast for three days each. They join the indefinite liquid-only fast begun by death row activist Gary Graham on June 21, 1995, and joined by four other death row prisoners on July 21, 1995. So far the corporate media has ignored the protest.

Organizing under the name of the "Death Penalty Revolution," death row prisoners, 63 as of August 17, 1995, have signed a "pledge of revolutionary resistance" to refuse to walk obediently to the death chamber should all their appeals fail. One recently executed prisoner carried out his pledge, forcing guards to subdue and drag him to the death chamber.

On August 16, 1995, a group of New African and Latina women with loved ones on death row announced they would be joining the liquid-only chain hunger strike. The women have set up a site in a park across from the death chamber in Huntsville, TX, some 90 miles north of Houston. They have also held protests in front of the federal courthouse in Houston. Anyone desiring more information should contact: Death Penalty Revolution, P.O. Box 280507, Houston, TX. 77228. They want contact with death row prisoners and activists in other parts of the country.

-Workers World

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