Last night’s execution of Troy Davis seems to have been a horribly misjudged action on the part of the American authorities, and not purely from a moral point of view. Whether justice is served by the killing of a man over whose conviction and imprisonment there was such doubt and controversy, will continue to be debated. But his death looks set to become a symbol of the injustice and oppression that are already making many Americans increasingly angry.
As I write, #RIPtroydavis is “trending” at number 2 on Twitter in both the US and UK. It’s an indication of how big this news is and how much it has evoked a bad taste in the mouths of people around the world.
I think Troy David could become a martyr, a symbol not just for anti-death-penalty protestors and those who object to the brutality of the American criminal “justice” system, but also for any other protest movement angered by the behaviour of their government in some other capacity.
Because protest in the US is gathering apace. It’s not widely reported – apparently there was a deliberate news blackout of the nationwide protests for Saturday’s “Day of Rage”, while the continuing occupation of Wall Street in protest at the destructive greed of banks and corporations has not even been mentioned in the New York Times! (www.occupywallstreet.org)
But ignoring the anger of ordinary people will not make it go away. We found that in the UK, to our cost, with the recent riots – which, incidentally, were sparked by the death of a black man who was widely believed to be innocent, at the hands of the authorities. Any parallels with Troy Davis there?
I’ll be very surprised if the execution doesn’t spark off something similar. Already there is talk of an “American Spring” – along the lines of the Arab Spring, with ordinary Americans – they’re calling themselves the 99 per centers – rising up against perceived unfairness.
And in two weeks the volume of dissent in the US will swell further as yet more protestors take to the streets on October 8 to call for an end to the occupation of Afghanistan. That one will be international, of course – our own version here in the UK will be @antiwar8oct and http://www.antiwarassembly.org/