Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement
C/O S.H.A.P.E. Community Center
3815 Live Oak, Houston, TX 77008
713-503-2633 / Abolition.Movement@hotmail.com
Monday, June 2, 2009
Contact: Gloria Rubac,
Press Conference and Demonstrations to Condemn the 200th
Execution to be Carried Out Under Gov. Rick Perry
A press conference will be held at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 2, at Houston’s Old Hanging Tree, corner of Bagby and Capitol. At 6:00 pm Texas plans to execute Terry Hankins, marking the 200th time an execution will be carried out under Governor Rick Perry. Protests are being organized around Texas and as well as in several other countries.
Since he became governor of Texas in December of 2000, Perry has allowed more executions to proceed than any other governor in U.S. history. The previous record was 152 executions carried out under the rule of former Texas Governor George W. Bush.
In Texas demonstrations will be carried out in Austin, Huntsville and Houston. Other demonstrations will be held in Albuquerque; Paris, France; Leipzig, Germany, Brussels, Belgium, and Montreal, Canada.
In Houston, activists will gather at “The Old Hanging Tree” located at the former site of a county courthouse. This 400-year-old oak tree was likely the site of lynchings in the 1800’s and is now a recognized historic site by the City of Houston. In Huntsville, the protest will be held outside of the death house, the Walls Unit, where the execution will be carried out. In Austin, a demonstration will be held at the Texas Capitol.
In Paris, there will be a protest June 3 on the Place de la Concorde, Tuileries/US Consulate side from 6pm to 7pm. In Leipzig, Germany, activists organized by Amnesty International will place 200 white paper crosses and 200 candles outside the US Consulate on June 2. Leipzig is a sister city of Houston. In Brussels, Belgium, protesters with banners will be in front of the US Embassy between 6:00 and 7:00 pm. In Montreal there will be a Die-In organized by Amnesty International where the 200 executions will be reenacted.
Texas leads the country in the number of executions with 438, sixteen of them carried out this year, 2009. The second state is Virginia with 103. Texas has carried out over one third of the 1,165 U.S. executions since 1976.
“Texas’ record number of executions has outraged people not just in the U.S. but around the world. Perry has become the focus of this anger and we are glad that our international allies will join us in protesting his 200th legal lynching,” said Njeri Shakur, an organizer with the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement.
The protests are being organized by activists with the Texas Moratorium Network, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, and the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement.