London participant calls execution ‘terrorism’
London — Hearing hard-core Republicans applaud the use of the death penalty during a recent televised forum for GOP presidential candidates incensed Sara Callaway, an African American living in London for the past 25 years.
“It was like a declaration of war against all of us committed to justice,” said Callaway, one of over two hundred people who gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in London’s upscale Mayfair section for a silent, candle-lit vigil protesting the execution of U.S. death row inmate Troy Davis.
That London vigil beginning hours before Davis’ execution in Georgia was among many held in cities across Europe. Georgia officials executed Davis by lethal injection ignoring the worldwide protests against that action.
European, American and supporters across the globe opposed the death of Davis whose conviction stood on evidence now severely compromised by eyewitness recantations, improprieties by authorities and identification of a suspect who allegedly admitted killing the off-duty policeman whose murder sent Davis to death row.
A vigil for Davis in front of the U.S. Embassy in the German capital of Berlin, in contrast to the quiet presence in London, contained loud shouts and speeches from some political leaders reported Victor Grossman, an American-born, Harvard-educated writer living in Germany for over fifty-years.
Participants at the London vigil lit a long row of glass-dished candles placed on the ground across from the U.S. Embassy. Some participants held candles and signs with messages like: “USA! Shame on You!” and “Troy Innocent – Georgia Guilty!”
Voices in the U.S. and abroad urging postponement of Davis’ execution due to questions surrounding his conviction — evidence of innocence rejected by appellate courts and Georgia pardon officials — include a former director of the FBI, conservative politicians and the Pope.
“Ignoring all the evidence of Davis’ innocence is insanity,” said Sara Callaway, director of the London-based Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike.
The U.S. Supreme Court, which blocked two planned executions in Texas during the past week, declined to re-enter the Davis case.
Worldwide opponents of Davis’ execution referenced racism as a driving reason in his execution. Davis, who is Black, was convicted of killing a white policeman. The overwhelming numbers of victims whose murders result in death penalties are white according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
Georgia, incidentally, registered America’s second highest total of lynch mob murders where the overwhelming number of victims of this bloody violence were African Americans.
In Georgia 450 lynch mob murders were officially recorded between the years 1882 and 1930, placing that state behind the 538 officially documented in Mississippi, according to The New Georgia Encyclopedia.
“Terrorism” is how London vigil participant Tongogara characterized the then pending execution of Davis. He heads the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Defense Committee in the UK.