Friday, 16 September 2011

Troy Davis. Amnesty. Please.

I heard about this case through a blog by my sister.  I am hoping that me writing this will do for others out there what hers did for me - raise awareness, set me on the path to taking whatever little action that I can, and passing this on so others can do the same.

This is one of those stories that's acted as a reminder, in my happy go trippy life, that this kind of thing is going on still - blatant miscarriages of justice, in a guise of justice so poorly portrayed, it feels surreal that it's even possible.  Just today, through a river-boat captain's commentary, i found out what the punishment for pirates used to be on the thames - and i was just struck by how barbaric humans can be to other humans, and call it 'justice'.

The rest of the blog after this paragraph will be copied, verbatim, from Amnesty USA's site.  It has the relevant facts, and links to follow to do something.  Even if all you do is post a link to the Amnesty page, that is something awesome. Please do pass this on. If you can, take an action.  It's one of those situations where someone's life really could depend on it. Thanks.

Too Much Doubt

Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a Georgia police officer in 1991. Nearly two decades later, Davis remains on death row — even though the case against him has fallen apart.

The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state's non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.
Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.
One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester "Red" Coles — the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
Breaking News: An execution date for Troy Davis is scheduled for September 21!  In the days before Davis' execution, the Georgia Board of Pardons & Paroles will hold a final clemency hearing – a final chance to prevent Troy Davis from being executed.

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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

East Africa - appealing

For weeks, I've wanted to write about the crisis in East Africa, mainly in Somalia.  And each time, something has pulled me back - I get overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge, or the enormity of the issue, or the idea that me (some random who writes random inanities about cinemas disappearing and sometimes gets too upset by the world to watch the news) could have anything worthwhile to say on the matter.

But I realise those are all just procrastinatory tactics.  Yes, I'm frightened I'll say something stupid, but since when did that ever stop me before..?!

And anyways, all I want to do is put the same stuff out there that many have already, just to spread that info, and maybe if even just one more person knows a little more about what is happening, and one more person pledges of donates or passes on that knowledge to others, then it's not in vain.

The following I've stolen directly from a friend's blog, Zayna Daze:

Horn of Africa Crisis: By the Numbers. InfoGraphic by Rich Clabaugh/ Monitor staff

A lot of hard facts to deal with I know.  And it may make it feel that there's very little we can actually do about it.  But then, very little is way better than nothing at all.

As Zayna suggests, some of the things you could do:

- read about it - in the news, on blogs, anywhere you can find decent info
- pass it on - share this information with others online via twitter, facebook, tumblr or whatever happens to be your social networking weapon of choice
- talk about it - bring it up with friends, with colleagues, even strangers, if you're that way inclined.  beats talking about the weather
- donate - find whichever charity you're happy with donating through. whether it's one-off or a regular thing - again remember, every little helps ("£0.50/$1.00 = 4 Full meals")

some charities with appeals:

And just finally, two things: 
-an article about how the causes of this famine are not just the drought:

- an awe-some heart-hitting poem by Amir Sulaiman - Somalia: nevermind: