Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Candle-Light Vigil for Troy Davis

The candle-light vigil for Troy Anthony Davis was held as planned at 6 PM yesterday and began at the Deep River Public Library. I would like to thank those who showed up in support of Troy and especially State Representative Phil Miller [Democrat] for coming. Phil galvanized us with a few inspirational words. He said that though we were few, we were in good company and mentioned those around the country and world who supported clemency for Troy, including President Jimmy Carter, former FBI Director William Sessions, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and others. He showed us a NY Times article from the 20th talking about opposition to the execution. He told us that Gandhi got his start this way, by peaceful resistance. He also said that Martin Luther King, Jr. said that it is not the color of a man's skin, but the content of his character he should be judged by, in his "I have a dream" speech. He said that applauded our efforts and said that we made a difference and that this is what America was all about. Then we all lit our candles.

Almost immediately, a young blond woman stepped out of her car with her iphone to snap a photo of us. She said she was from Georgia and wanted to post the photo to her Facebook to show her friends back in Georgia how the Troy Anothony case was being protested up here in her little home town. We tried to get her to join us, but she didn't want to. It was good enough that she posted us to her Facebook. As we strolled down Main Street, cars slowed to see our sign. Some pedestrians stopped us and asked who Troy Davis was. Phil showed them the NY Times article and added any explanation if needed. The responses were interesting. Some cars honked in solidarity. A few people frowned and walked away quickly. Most people looked very sad for Troy. Some people stopped and commiserated with how misguided the verdict was. One woman who works at town hall yelled "Let him die!" Most people had never heard of Troy Davis, probably since the news held off coverage until the final clemency was denied.

The police kept a close eye on us. I have never seen so many police in downtown Deep River since the Muster! Even the K9 Unit was there!

At 7:30 it was impossible for passing cars to see our sign and our candles had brunt down to nubs so we called it quits. And now today, I wait to see if they will really execute Troy Davis. I cannot believe it is really happening after all this time. Troy is at peace with it, but I am not. How can this injustice happen in my country? It is happening with my knowledge and I feel defeated because I can't do anything about it. I have done all I can and wish I could do more.

The rest of the world must think we are fools. They are right, we are. We are barbarians. We know nothing; we slaughter our own people with no good reason, or for emotional reasons. This is not justice, it is hate. It is revenge. It yields nothing. It grants no peace. It is outright murder. We are not an enlightened society. We have so far to go to become one. Troy Davis becomes a martyr for this cause. The price is too high. Way too high. But here we are. With a dead man and no enlightenment. I pray for enlightenment for our country once we get past our hate and blinding bigotry.

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