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Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

I Dreamed I Saw Troy Davis Last Night

In A Moment to Eternity, We ARE Troy Davis on September 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

…alive as you or me.   He will surely join Joe Hill in every future march for decades to come.   I only learned last night more details of Joe Hill\’s death–executed by firing squad on November 19, 1915.  A similar case of recanted testimony, potential mis-identification, and a media frenzy.  From Wikipedia:

The case turned into a major media event. President Woodrow Wilson, the blind and deaf author Helen Keller, and people in Sweden all became involved in a bid for clemency. It generated international union attention, and critics charged that the trial and conviction were unfair.

In a new biography published in 2011, William M. Adler concludes that Hill was probably innocent of murder (he advances another candidate as the perpetrator), but also suggests that Hill came to see himself as worth more to the labor movement as a dead martyr than he was alive, and that this understanding may have influenced his decisions not to testify at the trial and subsequently to spurn all chances of a pardon.[11] He reports that evidence pointed to early police suspect Frank Z. Wilson and also discovered a letter from the woman Hill was involved with, Hilda Erickson, who wrote that Hill had told her he had been shot by her former fiance.[12]

The songs  Joe Hill wrote –“The Preacher and the Slave” (a parody of the hymnIn the Sweet By-and-By“) “The Tramp“, “There is Power in a Union“, “The Rebel Girl“, and “Casey Jones—the Union Scab” all have lived on, as the struggle for justice ever lives on in any and all hearts who care to continue it.  Troy Davis is the more well known face, but thousands of others rely on The Innocence Project (check out the DVD at your local library) and Amnesty International to convey the plight of wrongful conviction and the barbarism of the death penalty.

Troy says it best in his message from September 10, 2011:

to-all-a-message-from-troy-anthony-davis

To All:

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,

“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!”

Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!

“Outside Job” More Fun than “Inside Job”

In Alive in Our Hearts, Birthplace of Democracy, Where Few Dare Tread on September 20, 2011 at 1:59 am

Entrance to Acropolis. Propyleum. Temple of Athene Nike

Entrance to Acropolis.  Propyleum. Temple of Athene Nike

It’s only fitting there should be an “Outside Job,” in the streets, by ordinary, non-plutocrats, as a foil to the “Inside Job” Wall St. has in our government and in both parties.

Who is doing the real trading?  The guys running numbers that flit into translated piles of money (oh, such hard work the wealthy do, to have money managers flit numbers on a screen all day for them!)–or true “nobodies” (thank you, Emily Dickinson) who awkwardly meet on the street in an inchoate echo of Athenian Democracy to trade ideas, candor, aspirations….

The disparity of wealth in our country (and the world) is readily undone less by mechanical transactions (such as represented by impersonal stock trading screens), but volumes more by the boosting of spirit that such grassroots movements feed to all of society.

Many of us can’t be there, but listening to the Livestream all day has been invigorating…the little tendrils of earnest and honest attempts at a society more participatory than consumptive.  It brings fresh energy to our attempts wherever we toil, to make Democracy alive wherever we are with, at the very least, our kindness to each other.

After all, even full unemployment is nothing to savor if we feel embittered into Republican and Democratic camps, or incessantly hopeless about the other side’s lack of grasp of reality.

Here on the streets, the stakes are low–people with nothing have nothing to lose–but they have a world of trust and hope to gain–a type of hope that is more real than any idea a politician can sell you for a vote and a song–because they created it themselves…and that is change that is contagious, and makes money seem meaningless by comparison.
If Democracy were not more powerful than money, it never would have been born, nor persisted through the ages–there would have only been de facto oligarchy.  But from time to time, the people rise up, and take exception to the rulers.   In dark times, more people accept inequality, accept their station, and deify some people as rulers (evidenced today in the celebrity culture in which the President is just one of a long line of red carpet runway figures, running away from mere mortals.)

I have no doubt the Tahrir square, Egypt, meetings of the minds and hearts of its people were worth more than all the gold in the world.  We, too, could be so wealthy in the U.S., if only we would dare to value spiritual exchange over money.

Temple of the Mysteries, Eleusis

Temple of the Mysteries, Eleusis, between 1850 and 1880 by Constantine Dimitris

[Greek tablets at Qirṭāsī, Egypt]

Greek Tablets at Qirtasi, Egypt

Look!  The door is still open to anyone brave enough to search for Democracy!   It lives wherever we shed delusions about wealth and inequality, and embrace our shared humanity.   It lives more in our hearts, actions, and the streets than in voting booths.   It is the sum total of every thought and action we make every single day.