Organization Reports A Surge in New Anti-Death Penalty Activists Outraged Over Davis Execution
Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, [email protected]
(Savannah, Ga.) –Amnesty International is urging supporters worldwide who are outraged over the execution of Troy Davis to observe Saturday, October 1 – the day of his funeral -- as a “Day of Remembrance.” The organization said it has seen an unprecedented outpouring of new support for its campaign to end the death penalty in the aftermath of the execution.
Amnesty International said over the days since the Sept. 21 execution, 105,000 people had signed its online pledge, “Not in my name,” committing themselves to work to abolish the death penalty. The pledge was posted in the early hours after the execution in Georgia. “On Saturday, we will honor human rights and remember the life of Troy Davis,” said Larry Cox, executive director, Amnesty International USA, who will speak at the funeral in Savannah. “We will acknowledge our sadness, along with our anger. And we will renew our commitment to this cause. This case may well be a watershed in the campaign to end the death penalty. We encourage everyone who is outraged by this execution -- whether they became aware of Troy Davis for the first time last week or have been a supporter in our fight for years -- not to forget. This is what Troy wanted – for us to keep up this fight. We will do so with a new determination to end the death penalty. This will be Troy Davis’ legacy.”
The Troy Davis “Celebration of Life” service is set for 11 a.m. October 1 at Jonesville Baptist Church, 5201 Montgomery Street in Savannah. The public is invited. No video or still cameras will be allowed inside the church.
Amnesty International is asking supporters who will not attend the funeral to observe a “Day of Remembrance” by wearing “I am Troy Davis” t-shirts or black armbands with “Not in my name” written on it on Saturday and to change their Facebook profile picture to the “I am Troy Davis” image: www.amnestyusa.org
The organization said tens of thousands of people joined protests it organized around the world –more than 100 events in the United States alone. Demonstrations took place in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, at the prison in Jackson, Ga. where 800 people gathered on the night of the execution, and outside U.S. embassies in Europe, including London and Paris, into the early morning hours Thursday.
On the day Troy Davis was executed, the Amnesty International USA website counted nearly one million “hits” – a surge unlike any in recent memory. Traffic to the organization’s Facebook page more than doubled. Since then, 170,000 new supporters have signed on to the organization’s abolition campaign list. Last Friday evening, 1,000 activists from across the country participated in a call to hear Cox and death penalty campaigners discuss the Davis case and learn about ongoing campaign work.
“We could not ultimately stop Georgia’s machinery of death in this case, but the groundswell of activism Troy Davis has generated proves that people were sickened by a criminal justice system that disregards the possibility of mistakes, errors and doubts,” said Laura Moye, director of AIUSA’s Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. “People did not leave the various protests despondent. They were transformed and renewed and are stepping forward to do more to end the callous system that has demonstrated it has no business taking human life.”
Amnesty International, the NAACP and other organizations delivered one million petition signatures calling for clemency for Troy Davis. The campaign to spare his life won support from diverse corners of the world and across the political spectrum, attracting notables including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, former FBI Director William Sessions, R.E.M., John Legend, Big Boi, and Mia Farrow, among many others.
Amnesty International initially brought worldwide attention to the injustice of the Davis case through its 2007 report “Where is the Justice for Me?”
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org.