Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Prison Board to Have Open comments this Thursday

Dear Fellow Activists,

On Thursday, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice will be meeting in Austin and this is one of only two times each year when the public can address this board on any issue they choose. the next one is in July.

This board controls the lives of all those in Texas prisons. This is the board that is denying the men on death row simple things like TV's, a work program, piddling in their cells, religious services, group recreation and so much more. When the rest of the system gets telephones next fall, death row will not be included.

We all know that ever since the men were sent to the Polunsky Unit, things have gone from bad to worse.

The Abolition Movement would like to ask you, particularly those living in Austin, to join us at the board meting on Thursday and speak out about conditions on death row.

Also, Kenneth Foster is in need of help on the McConnell Unit. If no one from Austin or San Antonio can go and speak for Kenneth, please let us know and we will see who from the Abolition Movement can do this. I hope his father or grandfather could come. That would be best!
We have to sign in and give the topic we wish to speak about by 8:45. At 9AM the board will begin its meeting, We cannot all put down death row conditions, so pick a small point of what you want to say and use that. If there are a lot of people speaking on one subject, they will ask for one representative to represent the group.

They cover many boring items, like congratulating someone for this or that and committee reports. but it goes fast as they are all on a per diem and want to have the rest of the day free! Never goes beyond 11AM or noon.

But on this agenda, there is actually something related to death row: something about changing or amending the authorized witnesses to an execution. Don't know what this is about?????

If you can get off work or school, please join the Abolition Movement at 8:45 Thursday. The meeting is at the Austin Hilton Hotel, 400 East 4th Street. We are sending out a press advisory about people speaking out for those on death row. I have emails for Nokia and the Statesman and the Austin Chronicle. If someone has TV and radio or someone else, send it please.

You can see the agenda at the board's web site. Go to www.tdcj.state.tx.us and click on ORGANIZATION and then go down and click on OVERSIGHT and the first item will be the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. Also on this web page www.tdcj.state.tx.us where it says "Quick Links" you can click on the last item which is "Public Presentation and Comments" and you can see the elaborate rules they have to keep any of us from disrupting the decorum of thier "business as usual" meeting.

Hope to see some of you Thursday.

(We will have copies of the resolution that many of us are introducing at Democratic Party Senate District Conventions this Saturday. If you can help with this, also let me know. Even some of us who think the Democrats are just another imperialist party have gotten elected delegates so we can push this resolution for abolition in Texas.)

In struggle,

for the Abolition Movement

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